The Importance of a Second Medical Opinion

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with a serious or complex medical condition, receiving a second medical opinion might not be at the top of your list of things to do, but it should be. 

Getting a second opinion might provide you with the same information, but it can also lead to peace of mind, a new diagnosis, or a different treatment plan. A second opinion can also provide you with additional treatment options that the first doctor you met with might not have mentioned. 

If you’ve recently received a diagnosis, here are some of the benefits of receiving a second medical opinion.

Reasons to Get a Second Opinion 

You have undergone treatment and are still experiencing symptoms.

If you’ve undergone treatment for an illness or ailment but are still experiencing symptoms, it might be time to get the advice of another doctor. We see people not advocating for their health too often and end up living with chronic pain or when there could be something that could make them more comfortable. Remember, no one knows your body more than you do!

You have been diagnosed with a rare disease. 

Some diseases are so rare that there is little research behind them, making a diagnosis very frightening. On average, there are 7,000 rare diseases that are discovered each year according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center and with so little information available about these diseases, the risk of misdiagnosis is high. If you’ve been diagnosed with a rare disease, look for doctors that specialize in the disorder and have provided treatments to other patients to get their opinion.

You were recommended a risky or invasive treatment.

When you’ve been diagnosed with an illness, disease, or ailment, you do not have to agree to the treatment plan your doctor provides. If the treatment is risky, is invasive, or involves surgery, it’s always a good idea to explore a second opinion. Getting as much information as possible and different treatment plans will give you more control.

You were diagnosed with cancer.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is confusing, overwhelming, frustrating, and scary. Being as informed as possible about your prognosis and the treatment options that are available is crucial. No one doctor knows everything about cancer so it’s important to advocate for yourself, getting additional opinions, and finding the best treatment option that is available.

Something is telling you something is off. 

No one knows your body and is able to advocate for yourself more than you can. If you’ve received a diagnosis and treatment and it just doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion. You should never undergo treatment that you’re uncomfortable with just because a doctor told you it was what they thought was best. 

Read about your condition, talk to friends and family members, and see other doctors.

Receiving a Misdiagnosis 

If you received a diagnosis and underwent treatment to later find out that you were misdiagnosed, the Law Office of Attorney Christine M. Smith has extensive experience successfully handling complex litigation involving medical negligence. To get started, contact us today at 603-647-7200.

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