It is thought that around five percent of autopsies reveal a medical illness that has gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Had it been detected, it is likely the person would still be alive – this is why it’s crucial that you get the right diagnosis.
Because the human body is so complicated and vulnerable to so many diseases it would be impossible for doctors to diagnose every single patient correctly but there are some things you can do to make sure you get the right diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Record your symptoms. Write down the symptom(s) you are feeling, when you’re feeling them and as accurately as you can. Although many diseases can mimic each other in terms of the symptoms they exude, having a comprehensive list will help the doctor determine what is wrong.
Have a record of your own and your family’s medical history. Because many diseases like diabetes and cancer are sometimes a result of genetics, knowing your medical past and your family’s medical history may just be the key to unlocking your ailment.
Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what’s affecting you. If you don’t feel something is right or the tests weren’t interpreted correctly then ask for them to be done or checked again – doctors are human and make mistakes just like the rest of us.
Be comfortable. The patient-doctor relationship is an important one. If you don’t feel you’re gelling with your doctor, then don’t hesitate to see another one.
Be open. Doctors cannot read minds so you have to make it a priority to tell them all you can when it comes to diagnosing your illness. Tell them all the medications you’re on and if you are a drug user etc. Don’t be embarrassed or scared of the legal ramifications because there is a thing called doctor–patient privilege that keeps everything confidential.
Follow up. When the doctor does diagnose you, ask what you should expect. If how you’re feeling doesn’t reflect the diagnosis then ask for it to be examined again. If the doctor is firm in their diagnosis and you’re still not comfortable then see another doctor.
These are just some of the things that you can do to make sure your condition is not misdiagnosed.
Tip: Remember to not diagnose your own condition through the internet as a doctor and tests are required to diagnose properly. Concluding that you have a certain disease on your own will only lead to worry and anxiety.