Top reasons why doctors may miss an illness

July 25, 2023 | Crandall & Pera Law
Top reasons why doctors may miss an illness

Doctors can be overloaded with more and more patients to see in less time. This can lead to overworked doctors who do not have the luxury of taking their time with each patient. As a result, they are more likely to miss signs or symptoms indicative of an illness or disease.

Lack of communication

If a doctor fails to ask critical questions of a patient, they may overlook something important that could lead to the correct diagnosis. The lack of communication between the patient and doctor can cause misdiagnosis.

Cognitive errors

Doctors are human too, and as such, they can make mistakes. From cognitive biases to fatigue, doctors may place too much emphasis on incorrect data or overlook vital signs that could lead them to an accurate diagnosis. Common cognitive errors that lead to misdiagnosis include anchoring, confirmation bias, and premature closure.

Lack of specialty knowledge

Different illnesses have different symptoms, and if a doctor is not familiar with the signs and symptoms of a particular illness, they can miss it. This is why seeking advice from specialists is so important when trying to get a clear diagnosis.

Incorrect assumptions

Doctors can make incorrect assumptions based on a patient's age, gender, or other demographic information that could lead them to the wrong conclusion. This can prove especially dangerous when doctors fail to order tests that could rule out serious illnesses because they assume the patient doesn't have them. Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences for both the patient and the doctor, so it is important to take proactive steps to ensure that doctors have the necessary knowledge and time to make an accurate diagnosis.