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Information for people contemplating
a career in emergency medicine and
other medical specialties

By Kevin Pezzi, MD


Doctors jumping to diagnoses and sticking to them

by , MD

Your job as a doctor is to prevent cases like this:

Parents of 11-Year-Old Who Died of Septic Shock Say Hospital Sent Their Son Home “Desperately Ill”

However, missed diagnoses and delayed care resulting from them are frequent, not rare. Doctors often make a snap diagnosis and rigidly stick to it despite glaring evidence (as in the case above) they're dead wrong. Physicians have done this to me, my mother, brothers, other relatives, and every friend I can think of. The problem is so common there is a good chance it has affected you and will ultimately end your life. Some of my family members and friends are now in a grave because doctors were too busy, too stupid, too ignorant, or too hardheaded to do their jobs properly.

Medical errors are much more common than you might believe based on malpractice statistics. Malpractice attorneys are so hungry for the cases with big potential payoffs (such as those involving death or permanent disability) that they hyperfocus on those, often depending on sympathetic juries (or the threat of them) to hammer doctors more for bad outcomes than what they did to cause or not prevent them; most deaths result from natural causes and how we often abuse our bodies with booze, drugs, risky behavior, inactivity (or falling for the myth that exercise is enough), eating too much food, junky food, or processed food.

Medical malpractice attorneys have little incentive to pursue cases with less immediate harm or harm so delayed it is difficult to attribute it to what a doctor did or didn't do years before, such as how they often inappropriately order x-rays, CT scans, and fluoroscopy that increase the risk of cancer, heart disease (surprisingly), birth defects, and premature aging (I'll later post an article on this topic). Medical errors of omission and commission are so common that doctors make them every day (usually every hour, if not every patient), but most doctors are so poorly educated and hardheaded they don't see what they're doing wrong.

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