When you reach out for medical help, you want your symptoms to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, many women in Indiana and elsewhere find that this does not happen for them. Too many do not receive accurate medical diagnoses. This can result in further physical and emotional trauma or even death.
Why is it that women are more likely to be misdiagnosed than men? How bad is it really? What can women do if they feel medical providers are not taking them seriously?
According to a recent report, there are three reasons why women are more likely to receive the wrong diagnosis. These are:
- Women's behavior while at the doctor's office
- Doctor's responses to that behavior
- Doctor's training in medicine and gender
At the end of the day, medical providers feel that women's emotions are behind a number of their illnesses. When women describe their symptoms, they often express other stresses going on in their lives, which causes medical providers to disregard the symptoms and attribute them to the body's reaction to daily stressors.
How bad is it really?
It is believed that roughly one in every 20 American receives the wrong medical diagnosis every year. Over 250,000 people across the country die every year due to medical misdiagnosis. This comes in behind cancer and heart disease as being this country's third leading cause of death. Women have a 50 percent higher risk of receiving the wrong diagnosis when experiencing a heart attack. Autoimmune diseases and other issues tend to take five to 10 years to be accurately diagnosed in women.
What to do
If you do not believe that your medical provider is not taking your symptoms seriously, you need to be your own advocate. You have the right to seek multiple opinions. You also have the right to request further testing.
If you have found yourself the victim of an inaccurate medical diagnosis or you lost a loved one because of the same reason, you may take legal action in an effort to seek compensation for your losses. Medical malpractice claims over inaccurate medical diagnoses are fairly common. They do take time to resolve, though. If you think you might have a case, it is okay to ask questions and seek legal guidance on the matter.