If you have heard of medical malpractice cases involving diagnostic errors, then you likely know about the dangers of misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. But the pendulum can also swing to the opposite extreme in what would be called an overdiagnosis.
What Causes Overdiagnosis?
In the case of overdiagnosis, a doctor can overestimate the severity of a patient’s condition, or diagnose them for a problem that is worse than what they really have. For example, you may see your doctor for chest pain, and they could assume it’s a heart attack when a closer look would have told them you were only experiencing acid reflux. Other times, the doctor comes to the correct conclusion but prepare you for treatment that’s more than what you need.
Consequences of Overdiagnosis
One direct result of overdiagnosis is overtreatment. If a doctor correctly identifies a case of tendonitis, or tendon strain, they might perform an unnecessary surgery that may cause more damage to the tendons than if they had just let them heal on their own. Another risk is providing too much medication. It only takes a small amount above a healthy dose can lead to adverse reactions. And the risks of side effects with many medications is reason enough for you to avoid them unless completely necessary.
How to Determine Overdiagnosis
There is a fine line for figuring out whether your doctor overdiagnosed your condition. The best thing to do if you feel unsure is to see another doctor for a second opinion. If they give you the same diagnosis, then you can ask if they think you are getting more than the recommended amount of treatment. You should also trust your own body; while you can expect some treatments to be uncomfortable for a while, you should be able to tell if your treatment is making you feel worse instead of better.
Have You Suffered From Overdiagnosis? Seek Justice For Yourself Or Your Loved One With The Snyder Law Group
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