Diagnostic Errors from a Doctor’s Perspective

Unfortunately, diagnostic error, or the failure to establish an accurate explanation of a patient’s health problem, is all too common in the United States. In fact, diagnostic errors made up the largest share of medical malpractice claims and caused the most serious harm to patients, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers who analyzed 25 years of U.S. malpractice claim payouts. Although not all diagnostic errors result in a medical malpractice claim, it is important to recognize some of the common causes of these potentially deadly mistakes. A recent article in MD Magazine by Dr. Simon Murray, a New Jersey-based internist, discusses some of the common causes of diagnostic errors among doctors: Overconfidence While confidence is a good trait to have as a physician, overconfidence can be a mental trap that leads to misdiagnosis. Dr. Murray writes that doctors, like everyone else, may not see what they don’t want to see. A doctor’s overreliance on…

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