It is only natural for a patient to have questions and concerns when a doctor recommends surgery to address a serious health issue. He or she may even wonder if the doctor got it right. Doctors are, after all, only human. They can and do make mistakes. Unless there is an urgent need to begin treatment as soon as possible, a patient should always seek a second medical opinion.
Important decisions about health should only be made after a patient has weighed all available options. Although misdiagnosis is uncommon, doctors often have different recommendations when it comes to treatment. Some favor aggressive methods from the start, while others prefer a more conservative approach. Either way, a second medical opinion offers the patient more information about the condition or disease, removes any lingering doubts about a diagnosis or proposed course of treatment, helps the patient weigh the risks and rewards before a final decision is made and is sometimes necessary before an insurance provider will approve a specific procedure.
How To Get One
Contrary to popular belief, most doctors are not in any way offended when a patient requests a second medical opinion. In fact, most welcome it. As such, they are often the ones who refer patients to other specialists for their opinions. Patients can also check with their employer or insurer to see if they have second opinion coverage or as a part of their benefits package.
For patients who have been diagnosed with a serious health issue, a second medical opinion provides knowledge and peace of mind during a difficult time.