Tuesday, October 19, 2021

How to Tell When You Should Get a Second Medical Opinion

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One undeniable fact about life is that people make mistakes; nobody is perfect. While most people believe doctors are medical experts, one should never assume that doctors are immune from making mistakes like everyone else in their work.

Some doctors are often conservative in their approach to treating patients, while others might have a more aggressive approach. For those reasons, more people are seeking second opinions when it comes to treating their symptoms.

Even if the second doctor’s conclusion agrees with the first, there are many benefits to getting a second opinion. If you’re unsure whether you might need a second opinion, these telltale signs are usually good prompts:

1. Your Symptoms Persist Despite Treatment

Arguably one of the biggest reasons people seek second medical opinions is because they’ve undergone a course of treatment for their symptoms, yet those symptoms still persist.

It could be that your original doctor overlooked other symptoms, or perhaps they have not disclosed that you could try a different treatment.

In extreme cases of people with life-threatening symptoms, some individuals might discover their first doctor is notorious for misdiagnosing patients and may even consider hiring a medical malpractice lawyer to sue them.

2. You’ve Been Diagnosed With a Rare Disease

Have you seen your doctor and undergone some diagnostic tests, only to learn that your doctor believes you have a rare disease? If so, and you have reservations that you’ve been misdiagnosed, now is the time to seek a second opinion.

You may feel, for example, that you have similar symptoms to another medical condition, and it’s one where you must not get treated with specific medicines used to treat similar but rare diseases.

3. You Want to Explore Different Treatment Options

Doctors undeniably spend many years of training through medical school and elsewhere to get their qualifications. However, that doesn’t mean doctors are like walking encyclopedias and know about the treatments for all illnesses and conditions.

If you got diagnosed with a medical condition and your doctor recommends surgery or a life-changing treatment option, it’s worth getting a second opinion from another doctor or medical professional.

Doing so will help you discover if alternative treatments work just as well but don’t result in long-lasting life changes.

4. You Have a Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer is something that no one wants to have, as it can sometimes mean a death sentence to people - especially if the cancer diagnosis occurs during the latter stages of the disease.

Usual treatment options for cancer are surgery or radiation therapy. But, you shouldn’t assume those are your only options. Seeking a second opinion means you can find doctors that know about studies or clinical trials that promise alternative treatments that work well.

5. You Don’t Trust Your Doctor

Lastly, if you’re in tune with your inner voice and it’s telling you that something is not quite right about your doctor or their diagnosis, now is the time to seek a second opinion. Never assume you should follow a doctor’s orders; it makes perfect sense to be inquisitive.

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