What are my rights if my physician recently misdiagnosed me?

I had a skin irritation and she quickly diagnosed it as HSV, Herpes 2. I was overwhelmed, I knew it was not. She quickly prescribed a medication for its treatment. All test related returned negative – blood/urine and swab. I still have the rash and lost my partner because of this diagnosis. I received an apology and an invitation to come back to see the physician again. I asked if they would waive my co-pay and they said, “No!”.

Asked on November 8, 2013 under Malpractice Law, North Carolina

Answers:

Brook Miscoski / Hurr Law Office PC

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The first question here is whether you are being honest by using the term "misdiagnosis."

As you point out, the physician took samles to test, so clearly had not made a diagnosis. She prescribed a medication that could help while waiting for a confirmation of test results, which proved negative.

At this point, it sounds like you require further diagnosis, but that does not show that the physician committed malpractice by identifying a probable disease based on the symptoms and then testing for it.

I doubt you can blame the physician for the fact that your partner is unwilling to wait things out, or overreacted to the possibility that you had a commonplace STD.

Right now it's understandable that you are distraught, but lashing out at physicians because of the fact that your diagnosis might be more unusual than others is probably not a good solution.

If it eventually proves that your physician missed a diagnosis that should have been obvious, you might have a complaint (although not necessarily any damages). But I seriously doubt you have a claim just because your symptoms suggested some tests that turned out negative.


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