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When You Should Seek a Second Medical Opinion

October 27, 2021Firm News

If you believe a doctor has made an error while diagnosing or treating you, get a second opinion. A common mistake made in medical malpractice cases is waiting too long to seek a second opinion on their doctor’s treatment or lack of. 

Signs You Should Get a Second Doctor’s Opinion

Listen to your instincts, and anytime you feel a second opinion would give you peace of mind, you should do it. Here are some additional signs to look out for: 

Diagnosed with a Serious Condition

A serious condition could include any health condition that is life-changing or life-threatening or where the treatment options are high-risk. Diagnoses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or a rare disease would fall into this category. If you do have a serious condition, you may require long-term treatment and care, so finding a provider you can trust is essential. 

To Get an Accurate Diagnosis

If your symptoms can be caused by more than one disease, consider getting a second or even a third opinion. If you’re unsure what other conditions can share your symptoms, enter them into an online Symptom Checker. This is not a diagnostic tool but can help you identify possible conditions to discuss with a second doctor.

Confusion About Treatment Options or They Are High-Risk

To accept a diagnosis or settle on a treatment plan, you want to be 100% clear on your options. High-risk treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy, can have lifelong implications. Another doctor may suggest alternative treatments you may not be aware of, more up-to-date methods, or less invasive procedures. 

No Improvement

If you have been seeing a doctor for weeks or months and your health is not improving, it is time to get a second opinion from another doctor or specialist. They can re-evaluate your diagnosis and may recommend a different course of action or can confirm your treating physician’s methods. 

Your Appointment Felt Rushed

On average, physicians spend 20 minutes with each patient, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This amount of time or less may not be enough to give a doctor an accurate picture of your health to make a proper diagnosis or offer appropriate treatment options. 

Why You Should Get a Second Opinion

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, your health may be in jeopardy. A second opinion can save you from severe complications or possibly even your life. When you see a second doctor, they will review your medical records, perform tests, then begin treatment to undo any damage done by the first physician’s error. 

When it comes time to file a claim, the documentation from the second doctor and their testimony can confirm an error was made. This evidence is critical to proving medical malpractice occurred and being able to obtain compensation.  

On the other hand, if your treating physician is aware you are seeking a second opinion, that may open a dialogue between the two healthcare providers. A collaborative approach between the two doctors can result in more effective care and give you the ability to make well-informed decisions on your future treatment. 

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