Even the most experienced physician can make a mistake that has dire health consequences for the patient. When you have reservations about a diagnosis, treatment or another recommendation made by your doctor, you may consider seeing another provider for a second opinion.
These are some common reasons to consult with another health care professional before deciding on an optimum course of action.
Treatment fails to resolve symptoms
If you have followed the treatment regimen recommended by your doctor but it does not seem to be helping, you may want to ask a different doctor for advice. This is especially true when you feel that your provider does not take chronic pain and other uncomfortable symptoms seriously.
You receive a rare diagnosis
Very rare conditions affect millions of Americans. Scientists have already discovered thousands of rare disorders, with more emerging. If your doctor diagnoses you with a rare health problem, a second opinion can reduce the risk of misdiagnosis. This issue commonly occurs with rare diseases because little research and information exist. For favorable results, try to get a second opinion from a provider who specializes in the specific diagnosis you received.
Your doctor recommends lifelong, surgical or risky treatment
If you receive a diagnosis of any life-threatening or chronic condition such as cancer, you want to make sure that you explore all your treatment options for optimal outcomes. Before moving forward with surgery, chemotherapy, experimental treatments or preventive medications, a second opinion is a critical part of your due diligence. A serious illness can be a catastrophic event, so you need to advocate for yourself and choose the ideal available care for your health needs.
You just feel wrong about your diagnosis
You know your body than anyone, and you have the right to seek a second medical opinion for any reason. If you think that your doctor has made an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis, it cannot hurt to see another provider to get his or her take on your symptoms. Even if the second opinion yields the same result, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you followed your instincts.