Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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Can differential diagnoses prevent diagnostic mistakes?

Going to the doctor can be an unpleasant experience for a Wisconsin resident, especially if they are nervous about a new pain, illness or ailment. When they arrive, they may be asked to fill out several documents that record their overall health and wellness, and they may be asked to submit to basic laboratory testing to determine their baseline body functions. They may have their blood pressure tested, their weight assessed and their temperature taken all before they even have a chance to speak with their doctor.

One reason that medical professionals collect a great deal of information from their patients at appointments is so that they can develop a full understanding of their potential medical conditions. A doctor who has data about their patient can more quickly identify problematic issues and more quickly hone in on possible diagnoses. Medical professionals often use the differential diagnosis process to work through possible medical conditions that may be causing their patients’ suffering.

Differential diagnoses are like lists of ailments that have similar symptoms. If a patient comes to their doctor with an earache, their differential diagnosis process may have the medical professional first rule out something stuck in the ear before moving onto an ear infection or other more serious condition. Through the differential diagnostic process, a doctor may rule out medical issues to find the right diagnosis to treat their patient.

A haphazard approach to diagnosing medical conditions may cause patients to suffer treatments. A person who does not get the right diagnosis may suffer a worsened medical condition and may experience prolonged pain and suffering. Differential diagnoses can help doctors and patients come to the right answers regarding the problems that individuals face regarding their health.

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