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When should you get a second opinion?

When should you get a second opinion?

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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.

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