Is It Worth Getting a Second Opinion?
For most of our life’s decisions, even the very simple ones, like what to have for lunch, we look to a friend, family member, and sometimes the restaurant server for a second opinion. So why wouldn’t we do the same when it comes to our health? Some persons may feel a sense of obligation to see their primary care physician only.
Others may think getting a second opinion is rude and shows a lack of confidence in the care provider. But the truth is, there are many instances in which getting a second opinion has saved lives, and in telemedicine, it is no different.
Download this free infographic to see how a second opinion may impact your decisions.
Getting a second opinion these days is a common and encouraged practice. Even if you have been seeing the same doctor since childhood, it is still advised to get a second opinion, especially for life-threatening diagnosis, such as cancer.
Where can I get a Second Opinion?
After making that first decision to get a second opinion, the next step is finding a credible and trustworthy health professional to provide that unbiased opinion. Based on the growth and increased adoption of digital health, there is now the option of obtaining a second opinion via telemedicine. In fact, there are numerous institutions and private practices that offer second opinions as a service in itself. Many of them are accessible online through telemedicine.
While people may be apprehensive about accessing care online because of security and privacy concerns, and rightfully so, it is essential to note that the platforms physicians use to deliver online consultations are secure. Even though there are several options, it is highly advised that you opt for board-certified doctors.
Being board-certified is always an indication that the doctor is aware of the latest advancements in their specialty. Such credentials provide an industry best practices standard for quality medical training and evidence based critical thinking, that is of high demand for tertiary level care for complex illnesses. It also shows an interest in providing the best quality care to their patients in a value-based scientific process.
But how do you know you have found the right online doctor? This article will guide you to making an informed choice for your complex health needs.
How to ask for a Second Opinion?
Asking for a second opinion can be a delicate matter, often due to the emotionally charged context of being recently diagnosed with a potentially life-changing diagnosis. The approach must be appropriate so that one does not come off as lacking confidence in their primary care provider. The first thing that we recommend is respectfully telling your primary physician that you would like to seek another opinion.
Then when approaching a board-certified doctor to request a second opinion, be polite and civil. This approach will help to avoid creating an adversarial relationship. Explain your situation and provide medical records if possible. At this point, it is ideal to communicate your concerns and exactly why you are interested in a second opinion.
Who should I contact for International Second Opinions?
Widespread demand for quality (and discrete) communication with international-standard healthcare specialists, is at an all time high. The mass availability of telemedicine platforms and video consult solutions have provided a buffet of options for most patients around the world.
To really assess the potential value for your investment in specialised expertise, it is important to realise which of the available online solutions are truly catering to your specific health needs.
It is not recommended to select the cheapest telemedicine option nor of companies falsely claiming to provide unrealistic expectations to the naive digital health user.
As with any high risk investment, the patient (or their caregivers) should carefully assess the credibility of the global telemedicine provider.
Consider the scope of services they are providing
The credentials of the provider network
Pricing for value of their services (as opposed to just displaying the cheapest price in the region)
Comprehensive medicolegal coverage for providers and patients alike
Possibly the most important aspect of seeking quality medical second opinions, is to really get a feeling for the ‘user-friendliness’ (or UX) of the patient experience:
Is it easy to understand the offerings of the platform?
Can you afford their services?
Is there some kind of guaranteed value (or quality control)?
Do they provide realistic experiences that can help guide you in your decision-making?
This guide to choosing the right doctor may help you and your family.
Why Should I Choose VIOS?
Here 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), just like David who was able to book a specialist telemedicine appointment for his mom in Missouri, USA even though he was all the way in Spain! Watch his video testimonial here.
Before you visit our virtual clinic, download this fre infographic manual to see how easy it is to connect with your specialist
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Katella, K. (2020, January 15). Can a Second Opinion Make a Difference? Yale Medicine; Yale Medicine. https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/second-opinions
WebMD. (2000, May 15). How to Ask for a Second Opinion. WebMD; WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/features/how-to-ask-for-second-opinion
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