Definition - What does Misdiagnosis mean?

Misdiagnosis refers to when a doctor or some other medical professional misidentifies a person's medical state or condition. Misdiagnosis is one of the most common claims in lawsuits for medical malpractice. However, not all misdiagnoses constitute errors as serious enough to be considered civil offenses.

Justipedia explains Misdiagnosis

The typical consequence of a doctor's misdiagnosis is missed treatment opportunities that could have prevented harm or death. The crucial element used to prove a medical malpractice case based on misdiagnosis is to compare what the doctor did or did not do to how a different, capable doctor within the same specialty would have handled the case. If a reasonably skilled and knowledgeable doctor under the same or similar circumstances would not have made the same diagnostic mistake, then the doctor could be liable for a medical malpractice claim.

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