Should I get a second opinion?
Is it worth getting a second opinion?
You can get bad news from your doctor about yourself or your loved ones. It can be about the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease such as cancer or recommendation about surgery. It’s natural to panic but it’s always beneficial to get a second opinion from another doctor.
A research study conducted by Johns Hopkins medicine in 2016 said that medical errors are ranked as the third leading cause of death in the United States (Makary & Daniel, 2016).
The second opinion means the opinion of a doctor other than the patient’s current doctor. The other doctor goes through the patient’s medical records and after reviewing them gives his opinion about the patient’s health and suggests treatment.
A second opinion may provide you mental satisfaction and confirmation about the diagnosis or a new diagnosis. It can help you to know about additional treatment options that may be missed by your primary doctor.
After the second opinion, you become more informed about your health and treatment options therefore you can make better decisions about your health.
Recently a research study was published, which was conducted on 286 patients who were referred for a second opinion (Van Such, Lohr, Beckman, & Naessens, 2017).
The results showed 12% of referral diagnoses were the same as final diagnosis, 66% final diagnosis were better defined and 21% of final diagnosis were totally different from referral diagnosis.
Similar data has been compiled in this infographic based on the work of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.
Where can I get a second opinion?
You can ask your current doctor or your health insurance company to refer you to another specialist.
You can consult any good specialist on your own.
You can also take help from telemedicine websites for medical advice and consultation.
Sometimes for complex or difficult diseases like long-standing diabetes and heart disease, you may need some ‘fresh eyes’ to get a clearer picture to your neeeds. That is where the expertise from globally trained specialists can really give you a new insight on best practices. View this infographic on why you might need International Second Opinions….
What is the best medical advice website?
There are numerous medical advice and consultation websites from which you can receive a second opinion from the comfort of your home. Some top medical advice websites are;
- Second opinion
- Cleveland Clinic MyConsult
- Partner’s healthcare
How do you ask for a second opinion?
For asking a second opinion you should tell your doctor that you want to be fully informed about your health status, diagnosis, and all the treatment options.
- You can ask your doctor for a referral.
- Ask your doctor to send your medical records to the new doctor.
- Let your new doctor know why you are seeking a second opinion.
- You should prepare a list of all the questions you want to ask your new doctor.
Is it rude to get a second opinion?
It is not rude to get a second opinion. In life-taking diseases like a cancer diagnosis, your doctor may suggest you take a second opinion so that you can develop more understanding about your health.
Your primary healthcare provider knows well about you and they will not be offended if you want to take a second opinion for your satisfaction.
Why Should I Choose VIOS?
At VIOS, we are committed to providing a personalised and practical guidance for our global patient community, with decades of industry standard clinical training, within your reach.
Our exclusive network of healthcare specialists have decades of combined experience in their specialised medical fields.
We have handpicked a robust team of pediatricians, internal medicine specialist, oncologists and other high demand physicians for our direct pay (beyond network) hassle-free appointment.
At VIOS, you get to choose your preferred provider, choose the most convenient appointment (at your timezone) and be 100% comfortable in discussing any of your sensitive patient queries – in a safe digital space.
Not convinced? Maybe this simple infographic can show you easy we have designed our process for you…
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Makary, M. A., & Daniel, M. (2016). Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US. Bmj, 353.
Van Such, M., Lohr, R., Beckman, T., & Naessens, J. M. (2017). Extent of diagnostic agreement among medical referrals. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice, 23(4), 870-874.
Dr. Ismail Sayeed
Dr. Sayeed is the Medical Director of ViOS, Inc. He is a deeply committed physician entrepreneur & medical blog writer. While building the global infrastructure of the VIOS Clinic, he is dedicated to educate people on the potential of specialist telemedicine for managing chronic diseases.
Read more about him in his author bio