How Common is a Misdiagnosis?


19 May 2022 611 Views By MARI


This systematic review highlights the factors associated with providing an accurate diagnosis. It also provides essential data about how a patient could be a victim of a misdiagnosis. In addition, the statistics related to a misdiagnosis in adults have been highlighted as well. Unfortunately, 12 million adults are being misdiagnosed every year. Under these 12 million patients misdiagnosed, 28% deal with life-threatening or life-altering situations (in the United States).  

Keywords: Misdiagnosis, statistics, adults 1


Misdiagnosis & Statistics in Adults  

A medical diagnosis is made when a physician can identify the nature of an illness or other problem by examining the symptoms presented by the patient. The Earth that humans live in today is very different from the Earth from two thousand years ago. Today humans are exposed to a greater amount of pathogens that live in the environment. Since multiple factors could be responsible for a specific condition, it becomes harder for physicians to diagnose patients. A pathogen is defined as an organism that is capable of causing diseases. These organisms can be difficult to identify and even harder to identify the specific condition caused by them. Pathogens have a form of mechanisms that open a bridge for misdiagnosis. A pathogen will set itself up in a hostess body. Once in, it will avoid the body's immune responses and will start replicating itself. Because of the way pathogens spread, it is effortless to get an infection anywhere. Depending on the type of pathogen, it can be transmitted in different ways. They usually spread through skin contact, bodily fluids, airborne particles, contact with feces, and by touching a surface touched by an infected person. There exits four types of pathogens: 1] viruses; 2] bacteria; 3] fungi; 4] parasites. Viruses are known as complex molecules capable of replicating themselves on a host. Bacterias are microorganisms made of a single cell. Fungi is a very different species but very unique. They can be found everywhere in the environment, including indoors, outdoors, and human skin. Parasites are organisms that act like tiny animals. They live in or on the host feeding from it or at the expense of it. All the pathogens mentioned before are responsible for causing several diseases that range in severity and how they are transmitted [2].


 On the other side, when humans are not exposed to pathogens, they are exposed to genetic factors that can progress and affect the quality of life of an individual. For example, cancer is a disease caused by a genetic mutation. Unfortunately, cancer is one out of thousands of conditions that are caused by genetic mutations. When an individual is capable of understanding the big picture in diagnosing a patient, they will understand that it is challenging to diagnose and that it requires a huge level of knowledge from the physician to diagnose a patient correctly. For this particular reason, MARI Clinic is compromised to serve as an intermediary between the best physicians around the globe and those patients who need an accurate diagnosis.  

According to BMJ Quality & Safety, each year in the United States of America, over 12 million adults receive a misdiagnosis. In other words, one out of twenty adults patients are victims of a misdiagnosis; this means that about 5% of adults are misdiagnosed every year. Under the 12 million adults are misdiagnosed each year, and  up 10 to 20% are patients suffering from severe conditions. In addition, 44% of some types of cancer are misdiagnosed as well, and 51% of breast imaging second opinions result in a different interpretation (change in diagnosis). Under the oncology wing, the most commonly misdiagnosed cancers include the ones affecting the prostate, thyroid gland, and breast (more common in women than men). The 88% of patients who seek a second opinion often leave the physician's office with a refined or changed diagnosis. 66% of these patients will receive a redefined diagnosis; 21% will receive a completely changed diagnosis, and 12% will confirm the diagnosis made by the previous physician. The consequences of a misdiagnosis can be life-changing; 28% of misdiagnoses are life-threatening or life-altering. It can lead to unnecessary treatments, increased cost, physical and emotional stress, or even death. The most common reasons for misdiagnosis include 1] incorrect interpretation of scans coming from a general radiologist and not from a sub-specialist; 2] when the physician does not order necessary follow-up tests; 3] when the doctor makes an error interpreting test results [1]. In conclusion, it is necessary to choose a reliable and expert physician that an individual is planning to consult.  Misdiagnosis is more common than most people think. MARI Clinic wants to help every patient to find the best sub-specialist doctor via the clinic website. When a patient is under the care of a sub-specialist with a solid academic background and training, this individual decreases the chances of becoming misdiagnosed or a victim of medical malpractice. 




[1] DocPanel.  

(n.d.). How common is misdiagnosis - 

 infographic. DocPanel.  


[2] Santos-Longhurst, A.  

(2019,). What is a pathogen?  

4 types and how they spread disease.  



MARI Clinic Busquets, M.  

Najdahmadi, H.


MARI Online Clinic (MOC) is an online medical clinic which has invented a novel protocol to be added to current pathways in diagnosis. This organization benefits from the skills of expert physicians and specialists all around the world. MOC is affiliated with the Misdiagnosis Association and Research Institute - MARI. MARI is a non-profit research organization dedicated to conducting research on “Misdiagnosis,” “Error in Treatment,” “Malpractice,” and overall, all errors happening in the healthcare and medical fields. MARI and its subsidiaries aim to remove the limitations and boundaries placed on healthcare and improve quality of life by providing excellent and equitable care to all.