making the correct diagnosis

PROPER DIAGNOSIS….

ARE WE GETTING IT RIGHT?

In the Harvard Medical Practice Study, diagnostic error accounted for 17% of preventable errors in hospitalized patients, and a systematic review of autopsy studies covering four decades found that approximately 9% of patients experienced a major diagnostic error that went undetected while the patient was alive. Taken together, these studies imply that thousands of hospitalized patients die every year due to diagnostic errors.  From the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

This is more evidence that diagnostic errors could easily be the biggest patient safety and medical malpractice problem in the United States.  There’s a lot more harm associated with diagnostic errors than we imagined.   Dr. David Newman-Toker (M.D. / Ph.D.), neurologist and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as head of the recent BMJ Quality and Safety study saying that in the US, as many as 160,000 people a year die or are maimed as the direct result of diagnostic errors.

We live in an age of incredible technology.  The number of hi-tech tests that can be can run on today’s sick people boggles the mind (not to mention the pocketbook).  The question I would ask is whether or not all of the diagnostic testing that doctors and patients have access to today, has improved the average doctor’s ability as a diagnostician? 

From everything I have read, it seems this is doubtful.  HERE is one such example of studies pertaining to medical errors.  I do not want to go into great detail right now, but if you search my site along with the internet, you’ll find thousands upon thousands of other such examples, including ONE OF MINE.  The point is, making a proper diagnosis is difficult.  Especially today when everybody and their brother is OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE and struggling with AUTOIMMUNITY, LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, and / or a plethora of CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES.

I remember back to a professor I had in school who is now an expert in the field of Functional Medicine as well as having a Diplomate in Radiology.  Brilliant diagnostician!  He showed us a study from one of the latest medical journals of the day showing how upon autopsy, it was revealed that only about one in four medical diagnosis was actually correct.  Naturally, this means that the vast majority of diagnosis are incorrect.  However, he showed us something that provides a real advantage in the field of Natural Medicine / Physical Medicine.  When it comes to treating people with the sorts of problems that I see day in and day out, knowing exactly which tissue is injured or what specific disc is hurting is probably not as important as one would initially think. The reason is that virtually all the injured tissues that we treat respond to motion / movement and proper nutrition.

This is particularly true when I try and differentiate TENDINOSIS from FASCIAL ADHESIONS (it can sometimes prove impossible).  Be aware that the same treating and healing principles are true when dealing with CHRONIC ILLNESS as well.  In other words, as long as you are not in the throes of some sort of life-threatening health issue, there are certain protocols that will help almost everyone — depending on the category of problem you have.  As far as a starting point is concerned, HERE are some articles on this subject.  I am not for one minute saying that diagnosis is unimportant.  What I am saying is that general protocols, such as those listed in the previous link, are going to help huge numbers of people, with little or no downside.

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