Even when we have complete confidence in our doctor, we can still leave the consultation in doubt, or simply want to make sure that we have looked at every possible option before going ahead with a decision. However, some people worry that that obtaining a second medical opinion means disagreeing with or “going against” your doctor. This could not be further from the case, and here are five reasons why:
1. Doctors do it all the time. Consulting with colleagues or specialists has been a tried and true practice in the medical profession from the very beginning. A Second Medical Opinion simply formalizes this process.
2. You do it all the time. People get second opinions all the time on their cars, homes, dental work or any major decision they are making. A medical condition is arguably much more important, so why should it be any different?
3. A Second Medical Opinion has everyone’s best interests in mind. The objective of a Second Medical Opinion is not meant to catch out your doctor, or prove them the wrong. In fact, the objective is to make sure that all angles have been covered, any other diagnoses ruled out and that you are receiving the best treatment to get your health back on track.
4. Medicine is not black and white. Life would be much simpler if our bodies were all the same, if a symptom meant only one thing and if imaging and test results left no room for ambiguity. But this is not the case, and another pair of eyes can often see things differently. In addition, doctors, hospitals and countries vary in the way that they approach certain conditions and treatment, and accepted standards might be different.
5. Conditions can be complex, and rare. Sometimes a common medical condition is not responding to treatment. Or a condition is so rare that only a handful of doctors may have experience in treating it. At such a time a Second Medical Opinion is simply a way of reaching out to someone who has practical or evidence-based knowledge that can help a local treating doctor treat a condition with insight that he or she might otherwise not have access to.
If you would like more information about getting a second medical opinion we invite you to contact the Best Doctors team at askbestdoctors.com.