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  4.  – Which conditions do doctors most commonly misdiagnose?

Which conditions do doctors most commonly misdiagnose?

Technically, a doctor could misdiagnose any condition. Yet they get some wrong much more often. Even though statistics on the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions have been available for years, doctors and hospitals should know to take extra care around certain ones.

Here are the most frequently misdiagnosed conditions according to a 2022 survey:

  1. Colorectal cancer 38%
  2. Lung cancer 36%
  3. Breast cancer 20%
  4. Myocardial infarction (heart attacks) 20%
  5. Prostate cancer 18%
  6. Stroke 15%
  7. Sepsis 13%
  8. Bladder cancer 10%
  9. Pulmonary embolism 9%
  10. Brain hemorrhage 8%

As you can see, this is a serious set of conditions, and the results of a misdiagnosis could easily be fatal.

Why does misdiagnosis still happen?

Despite the years of training doctors undergo and the technology available, diagnosing what is happening in someone’s body can still be tricky. Reasons include:

  • The human body is not as predictable as a textbook might suggest
  • Symptoms of one disease often look a lot like the symptoms of another
  • Conditions do not always manifest in the same way from one person’s body to the next
  • Patients may have other conditions that make it harder to spot a more serious one.
  • Patients might not always be able to describe their symptoms accurately either

However, none of that is news to the medical establishment. They and the doctors who work in them must consider such factors when seeing patients. Most of the time, they do, and they get it right. But sometimes, a doctor is distracted, tired, hungover, overconfident, arrogant, in a rush or not listening to their patient or colleagues properly. If that’s the real reason they make a mistake that harms the patient, a medical negligence claim may be justified.