Misdiagnosis is considered to be a form of medical malpractice, and it can lead to serious health consequences. As a top medical malpractice firm, Berkowitz and Hanna LLC continuously follows news relating to misdiagnosis and recently came across a research paper finding that 12 million adults in the United States who seek outpatient care are misdiagnosed.

Appearing in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, and as reported by CBS News, this paper suggests that a vast number of patients are being misdiagnosed in outpatient clinics and doctors’ offices. The figure of 12 million equals out to one of 20 adult patients. Furthermore, the CBS News article said that researchers found that “in half of those cases, the misdiagnosis has the potential to result in serious harm.”

Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS News chief medical correspondent, weighed in on the paper’s findings, saying it’s important for doctors to take their time more in doing a thorough medical exam. LaPook also offered tips for patients in helping to reduce their chances of being at risk for misdiagnosis.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC also lists tips relating to misdiagnosis on its website. Those who have been impacted by a misdiagnosis are entitled to receive financial compensation for medical costs as well as for pain and suffering.

Image by Lindsey Turner via Flickr.com