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Tight schedules for doctors can lead to medical malpractice

A new study appears to demonstrate that many medical misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose type mistakes come about because physicians are expected to do too much in the short time that they spend with their patients. Schedules for doctors in Pittsburgh and across the country are becoming increasingly tighter, and the timeframe for communicating with patients have often been shortened.

It was suggested in the study that close to 80 percent of diagnosis errors came about because of information that could have been gleaned during a physical exam or during the conducting of a medical history. A significant percentage of errors also come about because a follow-up test on a test was not administered properly.

It's not complicated as to why this is important. The longer that patients and doctors can spend together during appointments, the more information can be exchanged.

Another important factor contributing to this problem may be poor communication skills. Physicians and medical staff may not know how to listen very well. This is somewhat understandable as doctors engage in less face-to-face meetings with each patient.

We cannot afford for doctors to miss vital symptoms. Though the number of missed diagnosis may be small, the consequences of such mistakes can be severe. A headache for one patient may be insignificant while for another patient it could mean signs of a stroke.

Please contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney if you believe that a doctor failed to misdiagnosis a medical condition. Hospitals and staff will probably not take action to correct a problem if they are not called out upon their mistakes.

Source: amednews.com, "Primary care time squeeze explains errors in diagnosis," by Kevin B. O'Reilly, March 11, 2013

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