When Is It a Good Idea to Seek a Second Opinion?

by | Jun 8, 2017 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice |

A second opinion may be necessary during the diagnosis, if a doctor does
not listen, during the treatment and after the treatment has been completed.

There is not a single doctor in the Cleveland area who is perfect, yet
many patients fear getting a second opinion. According to the Center for
Advancing Health, many doctors see second opinions as a normal part of
their day. While people may hesitate in making this kind of choice, they
need to understand that doctors often interpret symptoms differently,
and their training may not have prepared them for what the patient is
experiencing. Oftentimes, patients seek another view when the diagnosis
seems serious, but this is not the only time when it is appropriate to
get more insight.

During the Diagnosis Stage

Doctors misdiagnose diseases more often than people may think. Because
of that, the Cleveland Clinic suggests patients should seek more advice
during the disease analysis process. This second opinion may help the
patient determine whether the right diagnosis was made, all of the tests
were completed and the tests were correctly understood. Getting the right
diagnosis is an important part of figuring out the best treatment plan.

If the Doctor Does Not Listen

According to Fox News, one study indicates that interruptions are common
during medical examinations. Additionally, during the average exam, doctors
spend about 20 minutes talking with their patients and that time may not
be productive. For example, a man is describing his symptoms to his doctor,
but a knock at the door interrupts his train of thought. Once the interrupting
nurse leaves, the man starts rattling off his symptoms again, but the
doctor gets distracted by the electronic charts and only half listens
to what is being said.

How is the doctor supposed to accurately diagnose a disease if the patient
is not heard? During situations like this, it may be prudent for a second
opinion to be pursued.

When the Treatment Is Questionable

For many diseases, there are multiple treatment options available. Each
of these treatments may have their own price, risks and positives. If
the doctor suggests a risky procedure, it may be a good idea for the patient
to hear what another specialist thinks.

Similarly, if a treatment is not completely necessary, it could be a good
idea to get another opinion. Elective surgeries may be equally dangerous
to emergency surgeries, so they should not be undertaken lightly.

After the Treatment

It may be prudent for some patients to get another viewpoint even after
the treatment has been completed, according to Breastcancer.org. At this
point in the path of a disease, a second opinion could help a patient
feel more secure in the decisions that were made. For example, a second
doctor may back up decisions that have already been made or give advice
as to the steps that should be taken from that point on.

It can be hard for Ohio patients to seek out second opinions, but it is
also an important part of the diagnosis and treatment process. Without
another expert view, patients may find themselves victims of
medical malpractice, in which case they may need to
contact a knowledgeable attorney.


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