Many Connecticut residents have likely heard troubling stories of patients whose baseball-sized cancerous masses went undiagnosed or whose late-term pregnancies were ignored as contributing to worrisome symptoms. While these types of gross medical oversights seem inexcusable, increasingly, they appear to be an unforeseen and unfortunate byproduct of doctors’ increasing reliance on modern medical technologies.
While the value of medical equipment like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs cannot be overstated; there’s growing concern within the medical field that some physicians are relying too heavy, and in some cases solely, upon the results of these tests.
A recent study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine details 208 incidences in which doctors admitted to relying chiefly on the results of diagnostic tests. Consequently, obvious clues and symptoms that could have been easily been discovered via a physical exam weren’t noticed until after patients received a misdiagnosis or underwent often invasive and costly procedures.
According to the study, 131 out of the 208 medical mistakes detailed were the result of a doctor’s failure to perform basic physical exams. The majority of the remaining errors were attributed to “misinterpreting or overlooking physical signs.” The negative effects of these arguably inexcusable medical errors included 65 percent who experienced a delayed diagnosis, 27 percent who were incorrectly diagnosed and 18 percent who underwent unnecessary treatments.
If you are dealing with painful or other disruptive physical symptoms, all you want to know is what’s wrong and what can be done about it. In cases where a doctor misses obvious physical symptoms which result in you or a loved one suffering a delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis or unnecessary treatments; it’s wise to consult with an attorney.
Source: Standford Medical: Scope, “Medical errors caused by doctors not examining their patients,” Tracie White, Dec. 21, 2015