As a patient, you should be able to trust your medical professional. When you are sick, you are vulnerable and you expect your doctor to take time to listen to your symptoms, formulate a plan to figure out what is wrong and to ultimately make a correct diagnosis so you can be treated quickly and effectively. However, the unfortunate truth is that the medical profession is flawed because the focus is no longer on patient care; it is often on the profitability of the medical practice. Insurance companies exert extreme control over medical professionals by applying unrealistic patient quotas that limit how much time doctors can spend with their patients. This inevitably increases the chance of medical malpractice.


Medical malpractice can occur at every level of care and can have catastrophic consequences. Every year, over 440,000 people are killed by preventable medical errors. This is staggering when one considers that approximately 610,000 die every year of heart disease, which is the “number one” cause of death in the United States each year.

Medical malpractice can occur for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Miscommunication – Electronic records are very cumbersome and many medical professionals do not read the patient’s chart and they do not openly communicate with their medical team.
  • Lack of time – Insurance companies put unreasonable demands on medical providers who are trying to see more patients per day than would be considered safe.
  • Lack of information – Medical professional often do not know or try to obtain a good history to identify the causes of symptoms.
  • Failing to make a differential diagnosis – It is often not enough to confirm that one illness exists. Doctors should also rule out other conditions to ensure that patients are not suffering from multiple illnesses.
  • Failing to rule out serious conditions – Some diseases are considered but not ruled out due to time or snap medical judgment.
  • Confirmation bias/anchoring – At times, doctors will make a quick diagnosis based on a few symptoms, which means that they may be more inclined to ignore symptoms that don’t fit the assumption they’ve made.

Medical malpractice lead to missed, incorrect, or delayed diagnosis. Because of these errors, patients are unable to receive the necessary medical attention they need in a timely manner, often leading to a worsening condition or death.


Medical errors happen every day in this country. If you suspect you or a loved one have been a victim of a medical error, you can contact Richards & Richards, LLP. Our Pittsburgh law firm handles all types of medical malpractice cases from birth injury to delayed diagnosis of cancer, negligent surgical care, anesthesia errors and failure to timely diagnose sepsis. We will fight to get you the answers and results you deserve. Just fill out the online contact form to begin discussing your case with an experienced attorney today.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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