What's the Difference Between a Misdiagnosis and a Missed Diagnosis

When you go to your doctor, you expect them to examine you thoroughly and make a correct diagnosis of your condition. However, sometimes doctors are wrong and make a misdiagnosis or miss a diagnosis. If your doctor fails to follow the standard of care, it may be a case of medical negligence. While misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis sound similar, there are some important differences.



A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient with a condition that they do not have. A doctor should run the appropriate tests and make a thorough examination so that an accurate diagnosis can be obtained. This isn’t always the case, and doctors can miss some important symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms of different conditions can be very similar, and this can lead to a misdiagnosis.

A misdiagnosis can be dangerous because it can result in the patient receiving treatment for a condition that they do not have. This treatment can involve dangerous medications or medical procedures that are unnecessary. In addition, if a patient has been misdiagnosed, then they aren’t receiving the appropriate treatment for the condition that they do have. This can cause the condition to worsen and the patient to suffer.


Missed Diagnosis

A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a patient with anything, even if they are suffering from a medical condition. For instance, if a person arrives at an emergency room with signs of a stroke, but the doctor believes the patient is simply intoxicated, then the doctor has missed a stroke diagnosis. A missed diagnosis can result in a patient failing to receive the necessary treatment for their condition. This can be very dangerous and harmful to the patient.


Is it Medical Malpractice?

Not all cases of misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis are medical malpractice. However, if a doctor fails to adhere to the standard of care for medical professionals, then their conduct may constitute malpractice. The issue of whether something is medical malpractice is a complicated one, which is why it is important to consult with an attorney.


Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe that you have been the victim of medical negligence, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. For over 50 years, the attorneys at Bonina & Bonina, P.C. have been helping people injured by medical malpractice. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.