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Researchers have discovered that 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed each year, Forbes magazine reports. The number represents more than 5 percent of all patients, and is caused by doctors overlooking signs for serious illnesses. You can read the full article here .
As the article points out, the new findings follow a recent study by John Hopkins University that concluded 160,000 patients die each year or receive permanent damage from medical errors.
So how can you protect yourself? We asked Charles Sand, an emergency physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital, who gave us 10 tips to avoid a misdiagnosis.
1. Ask your physicians a lot of questions, and have things explained to you.
2. Clarify your concerns.
3. Make sure your doctor goes over test results with you.
4. When you leave, be active in care.
5. Follow dietary recommendations.
6. Follow up with your doctor and schedule additional appointments if necessary.
7. Follow up with any tests that are recommended.
8. Know your history, or have your medications written on a piece of paper, which helps doctors treat them properly and decrease the chance of misdiagnoses.
9. Make a list of allergies and meds you’re on.
10. Obtaining the results of recent tests for your doctor would be helpful.