Each year in the U.S., approximately 12 million adults who seek outpatient medical care are misdiagnosed” according to a CBS News article. How is it possible that 12 million people are so easily misdiagnosed I think to myself but then I remember that I too have been misdiagnosed, even more than once.


A medical misdiagnosis is anything that a certified doctor diagnoses their patient with, but it ending up being incorrect. This is extremely dangerous because it can possibly harm the patient. In today’s society doctors visits tend to be rather rushed which is a factor in the possibility of being misdiagnosed. The CBS article discusses the possible ways a patient can help diminish the possibility of being misdiagnosed such as following up after one’s appointment because, “You can’t assume that if you don’t hear anything it’s good news…no news is not necessarily good news.” I do agree that no news isn’t necessarily a good thing but I believe that it is the responsibility of the doctor to inform their patient if there is in fact a diagnosis. As a patient, we pay copious amounts of money to be seen by these doctors so I believe it’s only fair to receive accurate results.


Medical misdiagnosis can connect to the book Zulus by Percival Everett. The protagonist Alice Achitophel was seen by a few doctors due to her mysterious pregnancy and the doctors made comments such as, “She’s intact, it seems.” and “Then she might well be pregnant.” Therefore the doctors were not entirely sure on whether or not Alice was actually pregnant or not because of their lack of experience.


I personally have had misdiagnoses throughout my life. I was told by my doctor at age 12 that I did not have scoliosis when I in fact did have scoliosis. I later on had to return to the doctors for x-rays and MRI’s to confirm how severe my scoliosis truly is. Unfortunately misdiagnoses are extremely common in today’s society.

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