Most of us find comfort in the ability to trust our physician to have all the answers when it comes to what ails us. So, when our instincts tell us the doctor is missing the mark, it can be a scary experience.
Where do you go from there? Do you ignore your suspicion and submit to your doctor’s treatment plan? Or do you have a potentially awkward conversation with your doctor about wanting to seek an second opinion?
The hard truth is that your best bet is to alleviate your suspicions before moving forward with treatment, as physicians make mistakes more often than you might think. According to a study published in the journal Advances in Patient Safety, between 10 and 30% of all diagnoses in the US are wrong. While a diagnostic error is not always a matter of life and death, it’s best not to take chances with your health.
If you suspect you’ve been misdiagnosed:
- Be sure you divulge all of your symptoms. That thing that you thought was minor or too embarrassing to share could end up being the deciding factor for your doctor.
- Ask your doctor what other possibilities exist. In having an open discussion about your situation, you may come upon a diagnosis that you believe is more fitting. Explain your thinking to your doctor. You could change his/her mind, or at least gain a better understanding of your diagnosis.
- Research your symptoms on your own. Informing yourself may help you better communicate your thinking to your doctor and could be the way to discover the more accurate diagnosis.
- Seek a second opinion. Your doctor should not be offended by this. It’s common and recommended that patients be proactive about ensuring a treatment plan is correct before starting.
Hopefully, through self-advocating, you’ll arrive at the right answers alongside your doctor. But it does happen that some doctor/patient relationships don’t work out. If you and you’re doctor just can’t seem to see eye to eye, Vitals is here to help you find a doctor that you feel more comfortable ensuring your care to.