No matter how much you like your doctor, there are times you need to seek a second opinion. You deserve the best in healthcare, and that means an appropriate diagnosis with treatment that provides results. If you’re not getting better, you might want to seek another professional look at your condition. Here are some signs that a second opinion is worth seeking out.
When Treatment Isn’t Working
Perhaps you received a diagnosis and thought you were on the road to recovery. However, now you don’t feel like the treatment you’ve been offered is working. That means it’s time to seek a second opinion. According to Russo Law, a misdiagnosis is a major source of medical malpractice claims. Many conditions share symptoms so you may be getting treatment for something that you don’t even have. In the meantime, your undiagnosed condition is growing worse. This can be especially serious when a progressive condition like cancer is involved. It may take a bit of time for treatment to work, but if you feel like your treatment isn’t working after a reasonable amount of time, you need to have another professional assess your situation.
When There’s a Serious Diagnosis
A diagnosis of a life-threatening condition such as cancer should definitely be followed up with a second opinion. Before you undergo treatment and shoulder the emotional stress of such a diagnosis, you need to know that it is accurate. According to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, women are more likely to be misdiagnosed than men, and these errors can prove to be traumatizing. You shouldn’t agree to a treatment plan until you hear from a second professional that the serious diagnosis has been confirmed.
When You Don’t Trust Your Doctor
Perhaps you had a great relationship with your doctor when you first started seeing them. However, things change with time. Your doctor may have taken on more patients than they can handle. Because of this, your doctor may not spend as much time with you as they used to, or you may feel that your concerns are being dismissed outright. Worldcare suggests that when this happens, you may want to consider receiving a second opinion.
Whatever the case, if trust has been compromised, you will need to seek a second opinion. Switching doctors completely can be a time-consuming and emotional process but asking for a second opinion is often less involved. If you find out your doctor was correct in your diagnosis, you can stay with your original physician. If your concerns about lack of attention resulted in a misdiagnosis, then you know it’s worth the trouble to go ahead and switch doctors. Seeking a second opinion is your right as a patient. Don’t settle for a diagnosis you don’t feel is accurate.
To be more involved in your healthcare, check out these helpful patient guides!