When Should You Seek a Second Medical Opinion?

If you have watched any of the numerous medical dramas on TV, and you have undoubtedly seen instances where individuals receive news from a doctor and then decide to seek a second opinion. However, patients seeking second opinions does not happen as much as you may think. Here, we want to discuss when it would be a good idea for you to seek a second medical opinion for your personal care. Believe it or not, seeking a second opinion can happen after receiving unwelcome news from a medical professional or after receiving fairly good news. Everyone wants to be sure that what they are hearing is correct.

Medical Mistakes Can be Deadly

Researchers from Johns Hopkins have said that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the country each year and result in approximately 250,000 deaths annually. These preventable medical errors can occur in a wide variety of ways, including a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.

When there is a problem with a person’s diagnosis, this can result in them sustaining significant harm. That is why many individuals want to seek second opinions. When there are more “eyes” on the potential problem, this could prevent serious errors from occurring and possibly save a person’s life.

When Should You Get a Second Opinion?

An individual can get a second opinion anytime they want. There is nothing that can stop a person from doing so. In fact, there are times when insurance carriers require second opinions, depending on the potential cost and complications behind a particular procedure or diagnosis.

For more routine or preventative issues, and when the patient and doctor agree there is no issue, second opinions may not be as important. However, information from WebMD.com shows us that a second opinion can be useful when:

  • A person is presented with a diagnosis for a potentially fatal disease
  • A patient has to choose from one of many options to treat their condition
  • There is potential for serious complications or death related to the treatment
  • Physicians recommend treatments that are in testing phases or still experimental

Anytime a patient does not fully understand the diagnosis that their medical provider has given them, or when a medical provider is unable to give a conclusive diagnosis, a second opinion could be a very good idea.

Where to Find Another Provider

If you or somebody you care about has decided to seek a second opinion about medical care, you should first look outside of the original doctor’s medical group or organization. The reason for this is so you can get a truly fresh perspective.

Doctors who work in the same system often know one another and share the exact same information. A new doctor within the same system will be able to see that their colleague treated you, and they may even consult them before giving you a second opinion. Essentially, you could end up with the same exact diagnosis from the same person, just through different lips.

Do You Need an Attorney?

You will usually only need an attorney if you suspect that you have been injured or become ill because of the careless or negligent actions of a medical provider. Medical malpractice claims in Oregon can be incredibly challenging, and these cases need to be reviewed by a trusted attorney who can review the claim and determine the best steps moving forward on your behalf.