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What happens if a doctor does not diagnose you?

When you go to the doctor, it is usually because something is bothering you. What happens if the doctor tells you nothing is wrong and sends you on your way?

One of the most common instances of medical malpractice is a doctor’s failure to diagnose.

What is a failure to diagnose?

If you go to the doctor complaining of symptoms, he or she has to abide by a standard of care that sets out proper diagnosis and treatment steps. This usually means that unless you have obvious physical symptoms, doctors should order additional testing to either confirm their belief or discover what abnormalities exist.

A failure to diagnose happens when these tests do not happen, the doctor dismisses them, or someone misreads them. This results in a delay in treatment and possibly more pain and suffering for you.

How can it rise to malpractice?

Under the law, malpractice hinges on whether a doctor or a medical facility subscribed to the standard of care. If your doctor skipped steps in diagnosing you, then it may rise to a negligent act. Conversely, if the doctor did not diagnose you and someone later did, this failure to act also falls into the negligent or malpractice category.

One way to prove that a doctor failed to diagnose you is to get a second opinion. If this results in a proper slew of tests and, in the end, treatment and ultimate relief, then you may want to step back and examine where the first doctor went wrong.