The treatment a patient receives is dependent upon a doctor's diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis often leads to quick and efficient treatment that may leave a patient completely healed of her condition. If, on the other hand, a doctor gives a missed diagnosis the results can have dire consequences. Serious injuries and death caused by medical malpractice like this can ruin lives and families.
Many studies have been conducted over the years showing the prevalence of wrong or missed diagnoses. According to one such study, inaccurate diagnoses in American intensive care units led to as many deaths per year as breast cancer. Another report found that 500,000 diagnostic errors occur in the primary care setting every year with most resulting in significant patient harm. Some believe these errors can be attributed to doctors being unaware of their mistakes because victims find another doctor and general overconfidence amongst doctors.