Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Overconfident Docs Need Dose of Reality

Misdiagnoses Occur up to 15% of the Time, and Physician Overconfidence May Be Partly to Blame, Study Shows

Barriers to Patient Follow-up

In one of the newly published essays, Gordon D. Schiff, MD, associate director of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women's Hospital, addressed the barriers to the follow-up of patients in the real-world, clinical practice setting.

Not surprisingly, lack of time was at the top of his list, followed by fragmentation of care, the large number of symptoms for which there is no clear diagnosis, cost and managed care barriers, and physician defensiveness about critical feedback from peers.

"Learning and feedback are inseparable," Schiff writes. "The old tools (used by physicians) -- individual idiosyncratic systems to track patients, reliance on human memory, and patient adherence to or initiating of follow-up appointments -- are too unreliable to be depended upon to ensure high quality in modern diagnosis."

He calls for a systematic approach to link diagnoses with patient outcomes.

In a different essay, Mark Graber, MD, of the department of medicine at State University of New York at Stony Brook and VA Medical Center in Northport, N.Y., proposes new roles for patients that can help. One is to have the patient become a "watchdog for cognitive errors" by having doctors communicate to patients more about what diagnoses they are considering rather than just telling patients what tests to get or what medications to take. Sharing more information with patients can help patients be more active in checking for errors.

A second role is as a "watchdog for system-related errors" to help keep track of their own medical information such as test results and medication lists. By doing so, "the patient can play a valuable role in combating errors related to latent flaws in our healthcare systems and practices," Graber writes.

Berner adds that patients can help by questioning their doctors carefully during the diagnostic process, and, especially, letting them know when they might have made the wrong call.

"If your doctor says you should be better in a week, and you aren't, call the office and let them know," she says, adding that a surprising number of patients do not do this.

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing