Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
Articles » Misdiagnosis » Failure to Diagnose

Failure to Diagnose

The failure to diagnose a condition is a severe misdiagnosis if a doctor fails to identify the condition. The majority of malpractice lawsuits are caused by the failure to diagnose conditions such as heart attack, breast cancer, appendicitis, lung cancer, and colon cancer. However, these are not actually the most prevalent undiagnosed conditions; see How Common is Failure to Diagnose? for a list of conditions with their undiagnosed prevalence estimates.

Note that failure to diagnose a condition can also arise in conditions where a person has no symptoms or only mild symptoms and so never seeks medical advice. In fact this is often the case with the early stages of the above-mentioned cancers.

However, once you seek medical advice for symptoms, a failure-to-diagnose misdiagnosis is possible. This can occur if the doctor finds nothing wrong, or if the doctor makes the wrong diagnosis of another condition. There are numerous conditions that tend to be under-diagnosed.


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise