After a recent visit to the doctor, you received some troubling news about your health. Could getting a second medical opinion address your concerns and help you decide how to protect your health?
Yale Medicine explores reasons to seek another physician’s opinion. Understand how to avoid putting yourself at unnecessary medical risk.
Your doctor recommends surgery
To address your diagnosis, your doctor suggests a medical procedure. Understandably, you may feel hesitant about undergoing surgery. You could seek another opinion from specialists such as physiatrists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists and pain specialists. Even if it turns out you likely still need surgery, you may schedule it with peace of mind.
You received a cancer diagnosis
Maybe your physician revealed you have cancer. If the news unsettled you because you do not have strong faith in your current medical team, you may want to seek another opinion. You may also want to see a specialist if you received a diagnosis for rare cancer, or if your doctor cannot help clear your confusion or answer your questions about your diagnosis.
You received a muddled treatment plan or diagnosis
Perhaps your doctor cannot give you a definite diagnosis because you display symptoms of multiple diseases. Under such conditions, it makes sense to receive an accurate diagnosis so you and your doctor may create an effective treatment plan.
You want reassurance
Your current physician may not have access to the latest medical resources, research, therapies or treatment options. This lack of information may make you anxious about your diagnosis. If your doctor cannot offer satisfactory answers for your pressing questions, consider talking to a medical professional who can.
Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnosis constitute medical malpractice. A second opinion could help you avoid becoming a statistic or suffering avoidable harm.