What is a second medical opinion and why should you seek it

Written by Leonescu Claudia

Making decisions about healthcare is one of the most important decisions in a person’s life. We can never know for sure what life has installed for us and we could find ourselves facing life threatening illnesses and difficult treatment options. While all of this may be true in some instances, taking the time to learn about your disease, to gather more information and making sure you are choosing the right treatment, is just safer for your health.

A second opinion is simply asking another doctor to review your case and either confirm your diagnose or contradict it, while in the same time providing you with the best treatment options. There are clinics specialized in this particular service, offering you access to the most experienced doctors from your country, or abroad.

When should you seek a second opinion?

Since the medical field is in a continous evolving state and new treatments are always available, you need to have all the necessary information about what you’re dealing with. Getting a cancer diagnosis or a severe recommandation is not only alarming and scary, but also painful, so you need to make the right decision since it is crucial.

You should be seeking a medical second opinion when:

  • the diagnosis is unclear or severe;
  • you are battling several medical problems.
  • the recommended treatment is risky, controversial, or experimental (for instance, major surgery)
  • you are not responding to your current treatment as expected.
  • You have even the smallest doubt about your medical care provider or the treatment he recommended
  • You simply want to have full access to information about your medical situation

What are the benefits?

When you or one of the members from your family are facing crucial medical problems, you want what’s best and what’s the most effective. Getting a second opinion can offer you the confirmation of diagnosis so that you will know which path you should take next. In such cases, accuracy is fundamental and one small mistake can mean another person’s life. Statistics have shown that approximately 30% of medical cases are diagnosed improperly. Why should you take the risk?

A second opinion ca also offer you confidence and reassurance that your treatment plan is appropriate. Additionally, offering you options and helping you make the right decision. Avoiding misdiagnosis and unnecessary surgery that could alter your health is also something you should take into consideration. In addition to this, you can access new medical techniques and services that might not be available in your country.

The doctor-patient bond is also important and not being able to communicate well with your physician is a major barrier you can escape. Search for a second doctor who can answer all your questions and take you step-by-step if necessary, through the whole process. This can also help you with your case
management and a transparent cost plan for each medical solution.

You may think seeking a second medical opinion can get expensive and while the best argument would be that you shouldn’t put a price on your health, the costs are pretty much the same, if not lower, as if you’ve went to public hospitals or chose to deal with your health insurance company. Logistics, medical bills, unexpected costs, are something you need to calculate closely.

Just facing a serious medical challenge is hard enough and in hard times like this you’ll need at least yourpeace of mind so you can take control of the situation. Don’t get low-spirited, keep your head clear and remember that even the most difficult problem has a solution. Second opinions can mean second
chances at life.

About the author

Leonescu Claudia

Initially when I turned to writing it was a decision made on some pretty shallow grounds, first off it was Carrie Bradshaw building a fire under my writing juices. Spicing that up with some reading, somewhere in my 2nd year of collage I was already fascinated. Margaret Laurence once said ”When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” and I find that painfully true.
If it's something you're drawn to, you reach for it in any of its forms, either it's in a newspaper, on a blog, maybe a book or a novel or you just go full-freelancing, you reach for it:)

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