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What should a doctor do if accused of a missed diagnosis?

Doctors enter the medical profession for a number of reasons, but one of the foundational motivators is a desire to help others. In most cases, physicians are able to assist their patients with various medical ailments. Unfortunately, there are some situations when an honest mistake can result in an injury to a patient or a patient may misunderstand and blame a physician for his or her continued illness. This can lead to allegations of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice and missed diagnosis: A common accusation

Missed diagnosis is the most common reason for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A piece in The Washington Post acknowledges that missed diagnosis is a problem with no easy solution. The issue spans medical interactions at every facet. It is present in Emergency Department visits as well as at primary care appointments.

The patient may base the accusation on a failure to follow up on an abnormal test result or a failure to refer to a specialist. Whatever the reason for an alleged miss, physicians that face these accusations are wise to take action.

Missed diagnosis and legal strategies: Options are available

A physician can build a defense to allegations of medical malpractice. One strategy that can apply to these types of cases involves a review of the applicable standard of care. Physicians are expected to act in line with accepted standard of care within their profession. A failure to do so would support a medical malpractice claim. As such, it is important for the physician to gather evidence to support that his or her actions were in line with the accepted standard of care.

This is just one defensive strategy to take into consideration when facing allegations of medical malpractice stemming from a missed diagnosis. An attorney experienced in these matters can review your case and help tailor a defense to your specific situation.

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