When a patient presents to a doctor with specific medical complaints, the doctor will more than likely ask the patient a series of questions. The reason the doctor is doing this is because the doctor is performing what is called a differential diagnosis on the patient.

What a differential diagnosis does is helps the doctor come to a diagnosis of the patient through a process of elimination. Based on the patients complaints, tests can be done to confirm and eliminate different medical conditions. In addition, a doctor is supposed to start with the most serious condition based on the complaints, and not eliminate that condition until tests or other procedures can be performed.

So even though “heart burn” can also be the cause of chest pains, it should not be the official diagnosis until heart attack can be ruled out, especially if the patient has a family history of heart attacks. This is because a heart attack can be potentially fatal to the patient and it would make good sense to rule this out first.

If you presented to the doctor for chest pains, and it seems that your doctor did not fully listen to your complaints, and you were discharged with heart burn but you later had a heart attack, and you now want to speak with someone, pick up the phone and give us a call. We can be reached at 301-850-4832. We answer questions like yours all the time regarding Maryland medical malpractice law and we would be happy to listen to your story.


Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals.