Diseases Where Misdiagnosis Is Common


When a patient has been the victim of misdiagnosis, the blame will often fall on the physician.  Since doctors have been trained in the diagnosis of medical conditions, this is understandable.  However, it is not necessarily the doctor’s fault.

There are several diseases that are more commonly misdiagnosed than others.  Knowing that these diseases are more likely to be misdiagnosed benefits both patients and physicians.  It helps to expose the problem areas in diagnosing certain types of diseases as well as highlights where diagnostic equipment that is more accurate is needed.


More than half of physicians misdiagnose a viral infection as a bacterial infection.  In order to make sure the diagnosis of an infection is properly done, doctors need to perform the necessary follow-up tests and the patients need to also be more forthcoming about their symptoms.


Neoplasms are abnormal growths of tissue.  It is more commonly referred to as cancer.  If the patient’s subtle symptoms are not taken into account, and the necessary tests are not ordered, then a proper diagnosis of cancer can be very difficult.

Myocardial Infarctions

Myocardial infarctions are more commonly known as heart attacks.  This is a blockage of blood flow to the heart, causing muscle tissue to be damaged and / or death in and around the heart.  Symptoms of a heart attack can be very subtle.  Therefore it is important that patients discuss all their symptoms with their doctor.  Even if they seem minor, mentioning every symptom is important.  It is also important that the doctor order the proper diagnostic tests.

Pulmonary Emboli

Pulmonary emboli occur when fat, blood clots, tumor cells, or something else blocks an artery in the lungs.  Patients should be very concerned about their chances of developing a blood clot after undergoing a surgery.  It is estimated that 1.1 percent of patients who have undergone a surgery will develop a blood clot.  Patients who have a higher risk of developing a blood clot after surgery need to be properly screened and diagnosed by doctors.

Cardiovascular Disease

One of the leading causes of death in the United States is heart disease.  It is also one of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases.  Patients may have difficulty communicating their symptoms to a doctor because there are few symptoms and a doctor will need to be able to recognize the most subtle symptoms as a potential sign of heart disease and be able to order the necessary tests.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.