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When should you seek a second medical opinion?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

You had a recent medical appointment and your doctor gave you their opinion about your diagnosis or lack thereof. But something seems wrong to you. Deep down, you have a feeling that your doctor is not correct. That he or she missed something important about your health. It might be time for you to seek a second opinion.

The reasons for seeking a second opinion

There is nothing wrong with investigating your health conditions to the fullest. Second opinions are a critical part of the medical profession, and a good doctor will not feel insulted if you request one from another practitioner. Some reasons to consider seeking a second opinion include:

  • Wanting to be certain of the diagnosis
  • Wanting to be certain that you don’t have a diagnosis
  • Feeling as if your doctor did not adequately care for you
  • Interest in more than one educated opinion
  • Interest in a different treatment plan than the one prescribed

You do not need any concrete reason to seek a second opinion. You do not need to justify your interest in a second opinion to anyone but yourself. If you want to get another doctor’s input, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment.

Second opinions can catch errors and negligence

Some patients hesitate before asking for a second opinion. After all, you are not a doctor; how would you know what is best? But uncertainty should not ever deter you from seeking another set of eyes. According to a 2017 study, 21% of patients who got a second opinion from a doctor at the Mayo Clinic received a different diagnosis.

Doctors are fallible humans who can make mistakes. Unfortunately, some medical errors are the result of negligence on the part of the physician. Not all doctors apply the standard of care that they should. Some fail to order diagnostic tests, do not read medical records in-depth or dismiss their patients’ input. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose have been the foundations of many medical malpractice cases.