There are a number of reasons and a variety of situations why you should ask a second doctor’s opinion. Comparing opinions can provide you with additional self-esteem if both doctors agree. On the other hand, if they differ, you might have a different view of your medical condition and health.
We should note that you should ask a second opinion if you are diagnosed with a rare, complex, or severe illness or if your doctor suggests surgery. According to Mayo Clinic research, 88% of people who asked for a second opinion for a complex medical condition had a redefined or a new diagnosis that changed their treatment plan.
Why people avoid the second opinion?
The most common reasons include:
- A feeling of urgency or concern about starting treatment, mostly when they are diagnosed with cancer.
- Concern about offending their healthcare provider.
- Inability to access facilities that provide second opinions.
- Patients are often worried that their medical insurance won’t cover the costs.
In reality, for most conditions, there is no need to start treatment immediately after receiving a diagnosis, and most doctors won’t oppose the second opinion. However, if your doctor actively discourages you from seeking one, you should change your medical specialist.
Why get a second opinion?
You want to seek a second opinion if you are unsure about your current diagnosis, treatment plan, or medical advice. Additionally, you might want to visit a doctor who has more experience with your condition, or you are looking for a better doctor-patient relationship. But, keep in mind that not every doctor is the right fit for every patient.
In most cases, patients want to hear a second opinion if they are diagnosed with a severe condition. The patient either wants confirmation or reassurance that their treatment plan or diagnosis is correct. This type of feeling like you have explored all your options can help you relieve anxiety and stress.
Talk to your doctor
Even though you have the right to ask for a second opinion, you might feel awkward discussing this issue with your current doctor. However, you should talk to him anyway because he can provide you with a referral or share any relevant medical records or test results.
This will not only offer your doctor an insight into your medical condition, but it can spare you from retaking the tests.
How to find a new specialist?
To see a different specialist, you could find another or make an appointment with someone else at the same practice. If you are keen on finding a new specialist, you should talk to your doctor first. He might recommend someone else and offer you are letter outlining a recommended treatment, diagnosis, and opinion.
Another way to find a specialist is to ask friends and family for recommendations. Moreover, browse the web to find a specialist with the best credentials, reviews, and close to your residence.