Doctor accountability for misdiagnosing heart disease

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

According to the American Heart Association, doctors misdiagnose heart attacks in women more frequently than in men. One reason for this disparity is that physicians learn models of care based on male bodies. Unfortunately, another reason for misdiagnoses can be the gender stereotypes that some medical professionals believe.

Women who have received the wrong diagnosis for their heart problems should hold their doctors accountable.

Recognizing the symptoms

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. However, women and men can experience different symptoms during a heart attack. While chest pain is a common symptom for both men and women, women are more likely to experience the following other symptoms:

Shortness of breath



Back or jaw pain

Unfortunately, doctors sometimes attribute these symptoms to less serious conditions, such as panic attacks. This situation can lead to a delayed diagnosis or a fatal misdiagnosis.

Calling out sexism

Sexism in healthcare can play a significant role in the misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. There is a stereotype that women are more likely to exaggerate their symptoms or that their symptoms stem from anxiety rather than a serious medical condition. These biases can lead healthcare providers to dismiss a woman’s symptoms, resulting in delayed or incorrect treatment.

Holding doctors accountable

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. If a healthcare provider belittles a woman’s heart attack symptoms, the patient or family may hold him or her accountable for medical malpractice. They also may have the right to seek compensation for injuries and suffering.

By holding healthcare providers accountable for their actions, women can raise awareness about the importance of taking everyone’s symptoms seriously and combat sexism for the good of all patients.