Misdiagnosis In America: Shocking Statistics

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What if you were misdiagnosed for your headache? Each year around 12 million people are misdiagnosed by their doctors, leading to consumption of medicines which could actually worsen your case. Paralysis, losing hair, losing eyesight, abnormal neurological functioning, and death are some of the dark consequences of a misdiagnosis.


According to a recent study, 1 out of every 20 patients in the US are misdiagnosed by their doctors, from small to big ones. Are you sure you’re not one of them?

Previous studies examined the case closely, and observed the rates of medical diagnosis focusing primarily on patients in hospital settings, and found that a large number of patients were misdiagnosed with normal to very serious disorders. It’s very serious when you have a number of 12 million suffering from wrong diagnosis by their doctors. This figure represents about 5% of the outpatient encounters. Hence, getting good grades in the medical school alone is not enough to be on the field, handling lives of people.


To check the seriousness of the condition, researchers analyzed a data from three studies done before. One was to examine the misdiagnosis in primary care settings, and two of the studies looked into the cases of colorectal and lung cancer screening and diagnosis.

To estimate the yearly frequency of the misdiagnosis, the authors used a mathematical formula and applied to the proportion of misdiagnosis detected in the data to the number of outpatients in the US. They found a reading of 5.08 %. About half of them are potentially lethal mistakes.

One of the factors which adds to this problem is the patient’s inability to produce the correct or accurate medical history of the diseases or diagnosis. It is important to take time through an exam and listen to the patients speak about their discomfort and pain. Doctors today are always in rush, which is another factor adding the problem.


It is important to preserve your family medical history and maintain a proper medical record for yourself. They contain important information that the doctors take into consideration. The patients should also follow up with their doctors to in case of abdominal pain or uneasiness after diagnosis and discharge.