When to consider getting a second opinion

When it comes to medical issues, people tend to trust their doctors. After all, medical professionals have extensive training and education in medical complexities most people simply do not have the resources to evaluate or access to. However, there are times when something just feels wrong. Listening to that feeling can help you make the right choice.

Medical experts are not immune from mistakes

Healthcare providers may be highly qualified, but they are still human beings who can make mistakes for a variety of reasons. Seeking a second opinion can help you get the right diagnosis and care. 

When your doctor tells you you need major surgery or extensive treatments, obtaining another physician's opinion can help you make the right decision. Hearing you may need to opt for a course that could cause you serious expenses, pain, inconvenience and risk can be daunting. Even if that is the right path for you, getting confirmation elsewhere can give you the peace of mind of knowing you are doing the right thing for yourself.

You know your body

The doctor may have more technical knowledge, but no one knows your body better than you. Sometimes, a diagnosis or proposed treatment seems off, for reasons you may not necessarily be able to articulate. Having another physician look over the findings and check the diagnosis can help reduce the very real risk of misdiagnosis.

Doctors do not always listen

Many people regard doctors as the only experts in the room: they talk, everyone else listens. However, a doctor who fails to listen to patients can miss out on highly relevant information. He or she then ends up applying all that technical proficiency to the wrong problem. If you feel your doctor is cutting you off, dismissing your concerns or shutting down questions, you may benefit from seeing another physician.

When a doctor's deviation from the standard of care results in a medical mistake and causes harm to the patient, it can give rise to a claim of medical malpractice. Speaking with an attorney can provide some much-needed clarity on the legal aspects of the issue.

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