47 Percent of Doctors Encounter Diagnostic Mistakes At Least Every Month

A new study recently released by QuantiaMD had some surprising results. 

First the Bad News

The study questioned about 6,400 physicians and found that:

  • 47% of doctors encounter medical misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses at least monthly in their practices.
  • 64% of respondents say that at least 10% of the diagnostic errors they see result in harm to the patient.
  • Doctors identified the top five conditions at the highest risk for misdiagnosis as:
    • Pulmonary embolism
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Appendicitis
    • Breast cancer
    • Myocardial infraction

Some reasons for the failure to diagnose these conditions and for the misdiagnosis of these conditions include the failure to take a complete family history, the failure to take a complete individual health history, and the failure to consider atypical patient presentations.

Now the Good News

96% of the doctors questioned believe that diagnostic errors are preventable at least some of the time.  To prevent future diagnostic errors the doctors surveyed believe that a combination of new technology and an improvement in the art of diagnosis will be required.

Are you surprised by the prevalence of diagnostic errors? Do you believe that this potentially dangerous problem can be solved? Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts on this important topic.