50 million people are misdiagnosed every year in North America - and a lot of them are young women. What's going on? Dr. Peter Weiss is the author of How to Take Charge of Your Medical Care. He says patients only get about 10 minutes face time max with their doctor during an appointment - so a diagnosis is often made quickly. Also, when doctors are swamped, they may pass patients around from doctor to doctor - even in the same practice - which raises your risk of being misdiagnosed. Why? Because even if you have a medical chart that dates all the way back to your childhood, doctors simply don't have the time to digest it all, and some important information could fall through the cracks. Another reason young women are misdiagnosed is that many of them use their gynecologist as their primary doctor. Experts say a specialist can't diagnose everything. Instead, you need to see a general practitioner. Also, because women in their 20s and 30s are generally healthy, doctors won't necessarily look for serious illnesses. That's what happened to one 35-year-old woman in the article. When she complained about severe stomachaches, her doctor gave her ibuprofen. Thankfully she went to another doctor who found a polyp in her colon that was 3-inches-wide. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions in young women include: * Thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. Both have symptoms of mood swings and weight gain that can be mistakenly attributed to bad diet and no exercise. * Another disease doctors often miss: ovarian cancer. The bloating and irregular bleeding are often diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. * While heart disease kills about 25,000 women under the age of 45, most doctors miss it. They interpret the warning signs as either anxiety or heartburn. So do your homework before your appointment, but remember - you're researching, not diagnosing. Don't be afraid to ask questions when your doctor gives you a diagnosis. Even though there are thousands of illnesses, most doctors only see 250 in the course of their careers. So they may not think outside of the box when diagnosing you. If your treatment is over and you still feel lousy, schedule another appointment or get a second opinion.