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The Most Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions

May 05, 2017

Nothing less than 100% accuracy: That’s what you expect from your doctor’s diagnosis.

But is 100% accuracy realistic? Look at these statistics reported in The Washington Post:

  • Patients with serious conditions are misdiagnosed more than 20% of the time.
  • An incorrect or late diagnosis is not uncommon. Chances are you’ll receive a misdiagnosis at least once in your life.
  • 5% of adults who seek outpatient care – approximately 12 million people – are misdiagnosed every year.

These statistics are frightening and alarming. Your risk of a misdiagnosis is much greater than you ever could have imagined.

What Is A Misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis is a diagnosis that is overlooked, mistaken, or delayed, with detection coming from a subsequent test or finding. These medical errors and omissions are often very serious and can cause patients to suffer medical problems that are easily preventable.

Worse still, a medical error or misdiagnosis can lead to a patient’s death. According to a Johns Hopkins study, medical errors account for more than 250,000 deaths annually. That makes medical errors, which includes diagnostic errors, the third-leading killer of Americans.

20 Diseases That Your Doctor Might Misdiagnose

Statistics show that when you go to the doctor, you’re risking a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis can happen if your doctor confuses your symptoms or omits a critical test. And if you’re suffering from one of these 20 diseases, the odds go up that your doctor will commit a harmful mistake:

  • Celiac disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Lupus
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Appendicitis
  • Endometriosis
  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • ADHD (in children)
  • Urinary tract infection (in older adults)
  • Delirium (in older adults)
  • Essential tremor (in older adults)
  • Dehydration (in older adults)


If you’ve been injured because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis, call us at 412-471-4300, or email us. Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC has an experienced team of lawyers and doctors that specializes in medical malpractice. We help residents in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Beaver, Erie, Uniontown, Washington and throughout Western Pennsylvania.

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