When should you get a second opinion?
A second opinion in medicine is having a doctor, other than the patient’s original doctor, provide an opinion after reviewing the patient, their medical records, and any other medical information connected to the patient. A second opinion ultimately provides an opinion on the patient’s condition and how they should be treated.
Below are some of the reasons when/ why a patient should consider seeking a second opinion:
- For any medical problem which is considered serious
- When (non-emergency) major surgery has been recommended
- When there are two or more treatment options
- If you have been diagnosed with cancer
- You have multiple medical problems
- Your health care provider rejects a treatment option that you were considering
- You have been told that additional treatment would not help your condition
- When a very expensive and or very risky form of treatment has been recommended
- After spending a lot of money on various tests and the diagnosis is still up in the air
- You are having communication issues with your health care provider
- Your initial treatment does not work, or the condition returns shortly after treatment
- No cause is found for your current symptoms
- You are not happy with your diagnosis or the suggested treatment
- You have been diagnosed with a rare or life-threatening medical condition
- If your gut feeling tells you to and by extension you need peace of mind
Many patients feel awkward seeking a second opinion, for they often feel as though they are betraying their original doctor. However, it must always be kept in mind: it is your body, your health, your choice and your right.