There’s nothing more frustrating than being given a diagnosis you don’t agree with. Here are some tips to appease your worries…
Most of the time, the doctor’s diagnosis is correct because, let’s face it, they tend to know more about medicine than their patients do. However, absence of information and lazy diagnoses can lead to medical misdiagnosis so it’s important to fight your corner.
To put these misdiagnoses into perspective, studies of autopsies have shown a diagnosis error rate between 10 and 15 percent. The most common examples tend to be heart attacks, breast cancer, appendicitis, lung cancer and colon cancer.
In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can push a negligent GP into giving you the correct diagnosis so that you don’t end up part of those misdiagnosis statistics.
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How Do You Get Your GP to Make the Right Diagnosis?
It’s difficult to know if your doctor has given you the wrong diagnosis or not. Maybe you’re not happy with their assessment because you felt like they didn’t spend enough time diagnosing it, or they didn’t take it seriously enough and you want them to dig deeper.
Whatever the reason, you’ve decided you want your doctor to give you a fresh diagnosis and here some ways to convince them to try again.
1. Ask them what else it could be
Doctors aim to provide the optimal diagnosis
based on the evidence they have in front of them. By doing that they can often alienate other potential diagnoses and you leave without knowing what the other ones might’ve been.
It’s always a good idea to get the doctor to list a few different conditions so you can look them up. This way, you can see if your condition continues down the path of the condition the doctor has diagnosed or veers off into symptoms of another potential condition.
2. Make sure they have all the info they need
If you want to make sure your doctor gives you a correct diagnosis, you need to give them everything they need to make one.
It’s easy to forget all your symptoms when you’re with your doctor, so try sitting down at least once before you see your appointment and list your symptoms. You can then add to this list when you notice new symptoms or remember one you’d forgotten previously.
On top of this, you can go through your family tree and look at what diseases or conditions run in your family. Conditions as common as cancer, heart disease and even depression can have a genetic component to them.
3. Request more tests
You might have undergone tests for the diagnosis the doctor has given you, but it doesn’t hurt to request further testing in case it’s something else.
Try asking your doctor for blood tests, x-rays, and other common tests that could either confirm or disconfirm their current diagnosis. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.
4. Get a second opinion
If your doctor is adamant they’re right, won’t let you have any further testing and refuses to take your concerns seriously, you could always get a second opinion from another doctor or specialist.
Put together a list of all the treatments and diagnoses you’ve received thus far and get copies of them. You’re entitled to your medical records by law, so you just need to call any health care provider you’ve already seen and request them.
Hopefully the specialist picks up on something the other doctor didn’t, and you get either a fresh diagnosis or a new perspective on the current diagnosis that’s more convincing than what you’ve heard so far.
5. Complain about your GP surgery
Sometimes you go through all these steps, and you’re still stuck with the same tawdry diagnosis that doesn’t seem to fit the condition you feel you have.
The only way to get any further at this point is to complain about your GP surgery to the powers above. Most GP and doctor’s surgeries have a complaints procedure that you can follow, but make sure you include these things in your formal complaint:
- What or who you’re complaining about
- What happened and when
- What you’d like to be done to resolve your complaint
- How to contact you
In most countries, your complaint has to be investigated properly by law and you should be told the outcome of the investigation. This is obviously a last resort, but sometimes it’s necessary to force a stubborn doctor to reassess their diagnosis.
6. Take a legal case out against them
If you finally get a new diagnosis and it turns out that by misdiagnosing you the doctor either made the condition worse or allowed it to get worse by not treating it, you can make a legal claim against them.
Claiming compensation isn’t some sort of revenge tactic to prove that they should have tried harder. It’s more a necessary act to pay for rehabilitation, care and support if the misdiagnosis has caused you serious harm or left you with life-changing injuries or illnesses.
You can claim medical negligence against a doctor if they:
- Failed to investigate symptoms
- Failed to refer you to a specialist
- Failed to refer you for tests
- Failed to consider your medical history
- Misdiagnosed your condition
- Delayed their diagnosis
- Didn’t act on test results
- Administered the wrong treatment
On top of paying for rehabilitation and care, the compensation you receive will make up for any loss of income. This includes future loss of earnings, and any care costs you might incur in the future.
Hopefully, your condition is diagnosed quickly enough that you never need this compensation. It’s just good to know it’s an option if worse comes to worst.
Will Following This Advice Help You Receive the Correct Diagnosis for Your Condition?
In this post, we’ve shared the main things you can do to encourage your doctor to give you the correct diagnosis.
If you request a differential diagnosis, provide your doctor with the information they need, request more testing, and ask for a second opinion. Most people would be happy that their doctor has provided the correct diagnosis of their condition. That said, you know your body best, so don’t ignore it.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
- Doctor and patient – Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
- Making notes next to laptop – Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
- Writing a letter – Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash