Overworked doctors can easily make diagnostic mistakes

by | May 5, 2021 | Medical malpractice

Doctors working in hospitals and private practices often see multiple patients every hour. For each patient they interact with, they have to review medical records, talk with them (and maybe family members), reach a diagnosis and update charts.

The pressure that comes from working as a medical professional in the modern health care system means that doctors often have very little time to spare for their patients. They may rush them, cut them off or fail to listen while a patient reports noteworthy medical symptoms. Unfortunately, a doctor rushing through their time with a patient could fail to diagnose them correctly and do more harm than good.

Many doctors don’t have the time to listen to the concerns of their patients

The requirement to see multiple patients in a day and fulfill other responsibilities in addition to patient interactions means that the average physician has to rush to get everything done. Before they even enter the room to talk with the patient, they may have already jumped to a conclusion about what has caused their symptoms.

Recent medical research shows that the average physician only listens to a patient for 11 seconds before interrupting or moving on. Patients may not have enough time to explain their symptoms or even finish listing each individual symptom in those 11 seconds. A rushed diagnosis is more likely to be inaccurate, with all of the consequences that come from the wrong treatment and not getting the right diagnosis.

Patients suffering from misdiagnosis-related complications and those who have lost a loved one because a doctor failed to diagnose a crucial medical issue may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.