Failure to diagnose cancer most commonly breast cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, lung cancer and malignant tumors in the female genital tract are the most common misdiagnoses in the primary care setting. The second most common type of misdiagnosis is failure to diagnose myocardial infarction. Failure to diagnose meningitis in children is also among the most misdiagnosed conditions by primary care doctors.
Medications errors such as prescription errors, contraindicated medication, administration errors leading to adverse reactions are the second most common types of medical malpractice committed by general practitioners.
These findings are the result of a computerized literature search that compiled 34 relevant studies mostly in the US but also in Canada and Europe. The complete results of the research, led by Dr. Emma Wallace from the HRB Center for Primary Care Research of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, in Dublin can be found at BMJ open.