wrong diagnosis

  1. Wrong diagnosis could happen to you

    Five important words to use in your doctor’s office

    Doctors are used to being the last word.

    Here's your diagnosis... here's your prescription... there's the door.

    Have a nice day!

    Patients rarely question them, and that's how they like it.

    Well, friend, new research shows how you should ask more questions -- ask every last one you have, and even (politely) challenge him if something sounds off because odds are...

    HE'S WRONG!

    The stunning new study from the world-famous Mayo Clinic finds that doctors give the wrong diagnosis 21 percent of the time.

    That means more than one in five patients are being TREATED for a condition they don't even have... while the REAL problem goes ignored.

    You could be one of them -- especially if you don't press your doctor, ask questions, and get a second opinion when you can.

    Believe it or not, that's not even the most stunning part of the new study.

    Overall, just 12 percent of the patients seen over the course of the two-year study at the clinic's General Internal Medicine Division had the initial diagnosis confirmed.

    The rest had serious issues.

    Along with the 21 percent given new diagnoses by the Mayo Clinic, two-thirds of the patients were given "refined" or "redefined" diagnoses, or the kinds of changes that could lead to better advice and treatments.

    One reason this is so common is that most patients don't know when a doctor is wrong.

    Not at first.

    Many people find out the hard way... when a treatment doesn't work or a condition gets worse and they end up back in the doctor's office, seeing a specialist, or here in my clinic... asking me to do what their own doctor couldn't.

    I know from talking to these patients that many had a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong with the diagnosis. Some even spotted the classic warning signs: docs who didn't listen, or stopped listening once they made their decision.

    Because most patients are polite, shy and maybe lacking a little confidence when speaking to a doctor, they didn't raise questions or push for better answers.

    Don't let it get that far.

    It's YOUR health on the line, not your doctor's -- so if you think he's rushing through your appointment, not fully listening, or describing a condition that doesn't quite sound like what you're battling, press him for answers.

    There's one question you can ask that can slow him down -- five words you should never, ever be too shy to ask.

    "What else could this be?"

    By asking that single question, you'll force him to consider other options and describe them to you, and you'll turn his monologue into what it should be: a dialogue.

  2. Wrong diagnosis is more common than you think

    A second opinion that could change your life

    Imagine the horror of being told you have a deadly and incurable disease... and having to make treatment decisions, say your goodbyes, and even plan for your own funeral.

    But if you're ever given a tragic diagnosis, don't say those farewells just yet.

    The latest news shows why it's absolutely CRITICAL to get a second and even third opinion.

    Every day, patients are given wrong diagnoses on everything from minor infections to deadly cancers -- and one clinic in Ohio is making big headlines right now for allegedly falsely telling dozens of patients they had Alzheimer's disease.

    These are patients who in many cases made life-altering decisions. They quit jobs, blew their savings on "bucket list" trips, and -- in one tragic instance --committed suicide.

    Turns out, none of it was true.

    The Ohio clinic, now shut down, is under investigation over reports that the doctor who signed off on the tests never even saw the patients.

    But this problem isn't limited to a single clinic in Ohio.

    A government study in 2015 found that nearly every American will get a false diagnosis at some point.

    In many cases, they might be minor issues. One type of infection could be incorrectly diagnosed as another. You might be inconvenienced -- even miserable -- when the first treatment doesn't work, but eventually most docs get it right.

    Others, like the folks in Ohio, aren't always so lucky -- and they're not alone.

    Every day, Americans are given bad or outright false information.

    Alzheimer's isn't always Alzheimer's; it can be everything from a drug side effect to a vitamin or hormone problem.

    Even good docs can't always tell the difference.

    Cancer can be falsely diagnosed, or correctly diagnosed but then incorrectly treated.

    Even Parkinson's disease, a condition you might think is obvious and easy to spot, can actually turn out to be a more common (and less serious) condition called essential tremor or, like Alzheimer's, a drug side effect.

    Finding out the diagnosis is wrong might be some relief, but it comes at a huge price.

    Many patients spend months or even years battling the stress of believing they have the disease, and most will undergo treatments that can have lasting or even permanent consequences.

    That's why you should never make life-changing decisions without a second opinion -- and make sure it comes from someone truly independent and unconnected to the doctor who gave you the first one.

    I recommend working closely with a holistic medical doctor as we often do far more thorough tests than those offered routinely by mainstream practices.

    If you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

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