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The Major Mistakes Doctors Often Make With Your Health

When I write about medical errors, often they're related to the many mistakes witnessed in a hospital setting. A new study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine determined common errors made by doctors working in office settings contributed to some 60 percent of the malpractice cases where a patient was harmed by a diagnosis that was delayed or missed.

Of more than 300 malpractice cases reviewed, diagnostic mistakes accounted for nearly 60 percent, and many of them involved cancer patients. Even worse, 30 percent of them resulted in death. The major mistakes made by doctors:

  • Wrongly interpreting test results.
  • Not creating a followup plan.
  • Failing to perform an adequate physical exam or ask for a comprehensive medical history.
  • Not ordering the right diagnostic tests.

Among all these awful numbers is a single silver lining, as itunderscores without a doubt that patients must take betterresponsibility for their own health, especially when they rely on thefatally flawed excuse that passes for conventional health care in America.

Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 145, No. 7, October 3, 2006: 488-496

MSNBC October 2, 2006