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The tragedy of misdiagnosis

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When persistent pain invaded Gary Stern’s gut, doctors at two local hospitals focused on the digestive-tract disease he’d had a decade earlier. They didn’t listen to him insist this felt different, and they didn’t order a standard test to check for an ulcer. The misdiagnosis triggered a cascade of surgeries and suffering that took his life.

David Black wrote the book Ripped Apart to tell the story. Gary’s wife Carol never left his side, "Doctors need to realize it’s ok to make a mistake. But don’t cover it up. And that’s what they did with Gary. And that’s what ended up being his demise.”

And neurologist Dr. David Newman-Toker of the Johns Hopkins ‘Center for Diagnostic Excellence’ tells how patients can guard against medical misdiagnosis.

Original air-date: August 3, 2021.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'