When women in Texas go to the doctor and complain of symptoms, they have a less likely chance of being diagnosed correctly than men. These misdiagnoses are becoming an epidemic; studies have found that women have a 50% higher chance of being misdiagnosed following a heart attack and are 25% less likely to be correctly diagnosed following a stroke. Being misdiagnosed may lead to severe consequences or death.

It’s not just cardiovascular diseases that present a problem. A study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that it takes women an average of four more years to be correctly diagnosed with over 700 medical conditions. Heart disease, auto-immune disorders, sleep apnea, endometriosis, breast and ovarian cancer top the list of the most serious misdiagnosed disorders.

The reasons for women being misdiagnosed are due to several reasons. Most medical tests made for diagnosing disorders were done by testing on men. This means that many women may be misdiagnosed even after being tested. Symptoms often differ in men and women, so doctors who aren’t properly trained may miss the symptoms. This could result in medical malpractice occurring. Additionally, women are more likely to brush off symptoms and not see a doctor. Women should ask for second opinions and options when visiting their doctor to increase their likelihood of receiving a correct diagnosis.

Medical providers have the responsibility to diagnose their patients correctly to prevent them from suffering further from their condition. Doctors are often over-scheduled, which might mean they don’t spend adequate time with each of their patients and don’t diagnose conditions correctly. A patient may receive the wrong course of treatment that could result in severe side effects or even death. If a patient was misdiagnosed and harmed, their doctor might have committed medical malpractice. A lawyer may be able to determine if a doctor behaved negligently. If they did, the patient might be entitled to damages.