Why should I get a second opinion?
Millions of patients in the best developed health care systems in the world are misdiagnosed every year. Not on purpose but because medicine is evolving very fast, every patient is unique and humans make mistakes. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis does happen. No doctor can be an top expert in everything. Furthermore physician’s skills, training and opinions vary widely.
Research shows that in certain areas more than every fourth surgical procedure, diagnostic test and treatment protocol is unnecessary.
Getting a second opinion is your safeguard to ensure that any unnecessary pain or inconvenience due to inappropriate diagnose or treatment is prevented. With a second opinion you get a different perspective as medical doctors have different personalities, different experiences and different training. By requesting a second opinion you are in charge of your medical care and you are able to make the most informed decisions.
When should I get a second opinion?
- You are about to undergo a non-emergency surgery or another a major invasive procedure and you have doubts.
- You are not clear about your diagnosis or your report is written in a confusing language.
- You want to be sure that your diagnosis is correct or in other words in order to confirm your medical diagnosis or your course of treatment.
- You want to be sure have the best treatment plan in place.
- You want to have more information about your condition.
- You are uneasy about your current treatment or it is not effective or you face a change in treatment plans.
- Your physician is not taking the time to answer your questions.
- Your physician has not treated many people with your specific illness or does not have the facilities or expertise.
- You just need reassurance of treatment plans and want another expert’s opinion.
- You are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.
- You are prescribed with medications that have serious side effects.
- You are rushed into a decision or not feeling confident about your doctor’s decisions.
- You are concerned about the risk or how it might affect your lifestyle, family or work, as for instance the proposed treatment is too risky or toxic.
- Your insurance company may require it before covering your Treatment.
- You are unsure which treatment to choose, or you may have options — including not needing the medicine or procedure, or one being less expensive than another.
- You want to be sure that no important detail was overlooked.
What are the advantages of a second opinion from Doctoritas?
At the same time you do not have to deal with such issues as search efforts, delays, expense and inconvenience traditionally associated with such requests.
A Doctoritas’ second opinion provides you highly specialized medical care and dissolve any limitation due to your location, your availability or your ability to travel, your accessibility.
Do I need my primary phyisican's permission to obtain a second opinion?
Will my doctor be angry or see it as a breach of trust if I get a second opinion?
A doctor is asked, per se, to inform in the context of a surgical education about alternative therapies and to explain why this would not help in this case, in his opinion. Each responsible patient should also ask their doctor whether there would be conservative methods and why they were not suitable in his case. Should this not be explained plausible or should there be further doubts, obtaining a second opinion is strongly advisable.
In any case, a good doctor is also distinguished by the fact that he can also accept other opinions and discuss them. Also any good and attentive doctor will draw attention to the option of a second opinion.
Many doctors expect and encourage second opinions. Being open and honest with your primary physician that you want another viewpoint will help should you later need an expert to discuss your case together. If possible seek a second opinion from a doctor or specialist in a different institution or network. Institutional cultures are real so it’s good to get an outside and different perspective.
What should I do if my physician resist a second opinion?
- Be an honest advocate for your needs. Discuss your concerns openly with your primary care physician, try to understand his/her concerns, and then ask for the second opinion if you still feel strongly.
- Don’t automatically assume the second opinion is the correct one. Discuss with you phyisican the difference of the opinions. Analyize with him your options.
- Seek a third opinion, if you feel the need for further information and make the difference between the first and second opinion and your questions transparent.
Does Doctoritas want to replace the visit to the doctor on site?
What if the second opinion does not confirm the first, should I seek a third opinion?
You have the freedom to consult as many doctors as you want and therefore to seek a third or even fourth opinion. Keep in mind that this might end up in confusion and in sever uncertainty.
Everyone should keep in mind that the better the options are analysed and the better the patient feels with his decision the better are the chances to do the right thing at the right time.
A second opinion from a renowned specialist is good way to make the most informed decisions.