Eliminating Harm from
Diagnostic Error

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) is working to create a world where no patients are harmed by diagnostic error.

1 in 3 Serious Malpractice Cases are Due to Misdiagnosis

New research shows that one-third of malpractice cases that result in death or permanent disability stem from an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis, making it the number one cause of serious harms among medical errors.

DEM2019 Registration Now Open

Take advantage of early bird registration rates for the 12th Annual International Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference (DEM2019) now through September 13!

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Improving Diagnostic Safety

Over 50 leading healthcare organizations have joined forces to reduce harm and ensure better health outcomes for patients.

The Lingering Lump

Diana Cejas, MD, MPH, was in her first year of medical school at Howard University College of Medicine when she first noticed the lump in her neck. It would take five years before she finally had an accurate diagnosis.

Disparities in Diagnosis

Upon first entry in the diagnostic process, the age, race/ethnicity, and sex of the patient are the first characteristics that are visible to healthcare providers.

Missing Pathology Report

After having a mass removed from his cervical spine, Patrick Sheridan was told he wouldn't need any further treatment. However, the final pathology would never make it to Patrick's neurosurgeon.

Webcast: When and Where Inaccurate or Delayed Diagnoses Happen

Inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are the most catastrophic and costly of medical errors and will affect most of us in our lifetimes. Watch our webcast highlighting new research quantifying the magnitude of the issue and pinpoint the specific disease categories in which inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are most likely to occur.


Patients and family members have a significant opportunity to contribute to diagnostic accuracy and timeliness by actively participating in the diagnostic process. But often, they don't know the questions to ask, the information to offer, or the steps to take to improve diagnosis.

Clinical Teams

Every member of the clinical team has a role to play in ensuring that diagnoses are accurate, timely and communicated to the patient. SIDM offers resources for clinical team members to improve cognitive skills and work within their health systems to improve the diagnostic process.

Medical Educators

Improving diagnosis requires continued investment in medical education, leveraging trainees, practitioners, and educators to address gaps in the system and focus on the teams that contribute to accurate and timely diagnostics. SIDM's resources for medical educators examine clinical reasoning and system factors that underlie diagnostic error, and offer tools and strategies to to bring diagnostic quality and safety into the medical education curriculum.


Whether you're an established researcher or just joining the diagnostic error research community, SIDM offers a variety of resources to help advance research efforts in the field. Explore existing literature, engage with your peers, and join the conversation as we work to foster the growth of the research community.


Despite the fact that diagnostic error likely accounts for more patient harm than all other medical errors combined, federal investment in research to improve diagnosis amounts to about $7 million per year, or just .02% of the total $35 billion federal health research budget. Learn how you can support efforts to expand funding for research.

In the News

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Unexplained Symptoms: When Diagnostic Uncertainty Becomes a Diagnosis

By its nature, medically unexplained symptoms is a condition that is difficult to identify, classify, and manage. It is ill-defined, varied in its presentation, and often unrecognized by patients as a diagnosis in itself.

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Diagnosis Education – A Pathway to Improving Diagnosis

The latest special issue of Diagnosis focuses specifically on diagnosis education and on early experience with pilot programs working to improve diagnosis-related training.

Join Us

SIDM is the only organization focused exclusively on reducing diagnostic error in medicine. And when you join SIDM, you help lead the way to better health care for everyone.

Support Our Mission

Only through your support can SIDM create a world where no patients are harmed by diagnostic error.