Can Expert Second Opinions really help You?
As a patient, trying to navigate a new medical diagnosis and the healthcare system simultaneously can make you feel a bit overwhelmed, especially when there is a need to choose between several treatment options.
Additionally, how can you know if you have been correctly diagnosed or if you are making the right treatment choice? This is where getting a second expert opinion can help. Since the digitisation of healthcare since the past decades, people now have access to a wealth of health information online.
Doctors no longer have a strict knowledge monopoly on their prescriptions, patients are now more empowered to seek another expert second opinion for their informed decision making.
What is the Importance of an Expert Second Opinion?
Research conducted by Johns Hopkins in 2016 estimated that more than 250,000 people die each year because of medical errors, making it the third-highest cause of death in America. The truth is that doctors are not infallible, they sometimes make mistakes, and these mistakes can have dire consequences for you.
Doctors also vary in their approach to treatment-some are more conservative while others are more aggressive, therefore recommendations can vary significantly. For these reasons, it is more commonplace for patients to get a second opinion after a diagnosis has been made.
Getting a second opinion can provide peace of mind, can confirm the diagnosis that has already been made, or even lead to a different diagnosis or treatment plan altogether.
A second opinion also empowers you to make a more educated decision about your health care.
When should you get a second opinion?
Many reasons could necessitate a second, and sometimes even third, opinion. What is important is that you settle on the diagnosis and treatment that is best for you. Listed below are a few reasons that you may need a second opinion:
Persisting symptoms despite extensive treatment
If this is something you are experiencing, you may need to seek the advice of different doctors or a specialist. Remember, treatment only works if a correct diagnosis has been made.
Being diagnosed with an uncommon rare disease
There are some diseases for which research is sparse. In cases like these, misdiagnosis frequently occurs. Doctors and specialists who have experience with your disorder can give you the best treatment options available.
This is particularly of concern whether or not there is a family history of this rare disease.
The treatment plan carries a great deal of risk
Too often people are quick to agree to anything a doctor suggests. Remember, you must consent to any treatment you undergo and only you can decide just how much risk you are willing to take. You can do your research and see if any alternatives exist.
A cancer diagnosis is not only overwhelming, but it is a major life-changing event. As such, it is in your best interest to be as informed about your prognosis and the treatment that is available.
If you think a proper patient history or examination was not done
Never agree to a procedure or treatment plan that makes you uncomfortable. Go with your gut and get more information.
Due to time constraints perhaps you primary provider was not able to take a standard patient history, physical examination or maybe an important diagnostic test was not ordered.
In this case it is imperative to seek a second professional case review to fully assess your unique health issues.
Remember, a second expert opinion is an empowered move towards making the best decision for your own personal health and wellbeing
Why Should I Choose VIOS?
The educated patient is guaranteed to make the best decision – which is good for them, not just what is expected by the provider.
At VIOS, we are committed to providing a personalised and practical guidance for our global patient community, with decades of industry standard clinical training, within your reach.
Our exclusive network of healthcare specialists have decades of combined experience in their specialised medical fields.
We have handpicked a robust team of pediatricians, internal medicine specialist, oncologists and other high demand physicians for our direct pay (beyond network) hassle-free appointment.
At VIOS, you get to choose your preferred provider, choose the most convenient appointment (at your timezone) and be 100% comfortable in discussing any of your sensitive patient queries – in a safe digital space.