Many people assume that doctors are geniuses and that they rarely make mistakes. However, this is not always the case. When an Arizona doctor does make a mistake, it could have a profound impact on both the patient and the physician. Part of being a doctor is having the confidence to make the right call with every patient, and making a mistake may be akin to admitting failure.
Therefore, doctors don't always acknowledge their errors to patients or to other doctors. This may ultimately put more lives in danger, but admitting to a mistake could lead to financial harm for a physician. Doctors may also feel guilty that their mistake could have cost a person his or her life, which may also be a reason why errors are not discussed. However, there has been a push in recent decades to talk more about errors in the medical community.
This change has seemingly not been implemented when it comes to diagnostic errors. Such an error occurs when a diagnosis is missed or delayed because of a mistake. According to a 2015 National Academy of Medicine report, diagnostic errors were both the most dangerous and the most expensive type of error that could occur. Such mistakes lead to up to 80,000 deaths annually, and up to 17 percent of diagnoses are incorrect.
If a medical error leads to a worsened condition or other complications for a patient, it may be possible for a patient to take legal action. An attorney may help to review a case to determine if a doctor's error rose to the level of malpractice. It will have to be established that the error represented a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care.