A new survey found that nearly one in six patients believed their physician had made a wrong diagnosis or a treatment error. Roughly one in seven had changed doctors as a result.
In some cases, the doctor had not actually done anything wrong. But other cases suggested true errors -- one woman said her doctor had wanted to remove her breast due to a swollen lymph node, but it turned out to be the result of a bacterial infection.
“Indeed, U.S. data published in 1991 suggested as many as 98,000 deaths per year might be due to medical errors. In the new survey, based on almost 1,700 patients at seven clinics, eight percent said they had experienced ‘a lot’ or ‘severe’ harm from the perceived mistake in care.”