Counseling You Through Life's Difficult Times

The importance of a second medical opinion

Many people in Maryland seek care from doctors and other medical professionals every day. Sadly, there are many times when a person does not feel that they have been adequately heard by their providers and they continue to experience symptoms and problems that go undiagnosed and untreated. In other situations, people may be told they have a serious illness that requires extensive and even invasive treatments.

These are just two situations in which patients may benefit from seeking a second medical opinion. Unfortunately, a lot of people never do this. Very Well Health indicates that a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that 88% of patients who do seek second opinions receive a different diagnosis than the original one. Of those, more than one in five receive a diagnosis that is “distinctly different” than the first.

According to the American Cancer Society, people should consider second opinions if they have been given a grave diagnosis, have been recommended to undergo risky or experimental treatments, or even want to better understand all of the treatment options available to them. Instead of fearing the conversation with a doctor about a second opinion, patients should first trust that it is their right to do so. Second, they should know that any reputable professional will welcome such action.

It is important to collect all health records before seeing a new doctor. This will help ensure that the new opinion is based on all of the facts and will provide the fairest comparison between the opinions.