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How often to doctors fail to diagnose illnesses?

When you are not feeling well, one of the first, most obvious and best steps to take is to seek the advice of a doctor. It is a doctor's job and responsibility to consider your health and to look at all symptoms in order to make a proper diagnosis as to what is wrong. While in a vast majority of cases throughout the United States, the competency of the doctor is never questioned.

Even if a doctor is uncertain of what is wrong, he or she will likely seek additional advice by sending his patient to a specialist or fellow doctor for a second opinion. Again, in most cases, the patient will eventually learn what is wrong and the proper tests and treatments will be given to assure the best plan of action.

But every patient is different, and symptoms for one patient may not appear on another patient. The severity of the illness or injury often varies between patients. And as we know, doctors are humans, and humans are not perfect. According to a recent study of primary care doctors in the United States, Australia, France and Canada, between 26 and 63 percent of all medical malpractice suits were due to a doctor's failure to recognize or diagnose a medical condition.

Such an oversight could lead to serious or even fatal results. If you believe that you or someone you know has been the victim of a doctor's failure to diagnose, you may be entitled to compensation for the doctor's oversight. You may want to consider speaking with a law professional familiar with medical malpractice to see whether you are entitled to compensation for your condition.

Source: LiveScience, "Failure to Diagnose is No. 1 Reason for Suing Doctors," By Rachael Rettner, July 18, 2013

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