Is a misdiagnosis or the failure to make a diagnosis always medical malpractice?

A misdiagnosis or the failure to make a diagnosis is not always considered medical malpractice. Not all diseases have a definitive test that will absolutely diagnose or rule out a disease. Some diseases are so rare that more common diseases are considered first. Some diseases mimic other diseases. In those types of cases, the determination of negligence will be based on whether the doctor's thought process was reasonable or unreasonable. The doctor can be wrong, but not negligent, if his thought was reasonable under the circumstances. A misdiagnosis or the failure to make a diagnosis is malpractice when your doctor fails to obtain a proper medical history, fails to order appropriate tests for your medical condition, misinterprets the results of tests he did order, or fails to act upon test results he received. Some of these tests can include blood draws, imaging procedures such as CT scan (Computed Axial Tomography Scan), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), ECG/EKG (electrocardiogram), ultrasound and many other diagnostic procedures. It is also a malpractice if your doctor fails to recognize the symptoms of your disease and make a proper diagnosis. Call our office if you were misdiagnosed or there was a delay in a diagnosis. We can help you determine if you have a medical malpractice case.
Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.