No matter whether your doctor is the smartest and most compassionate person in the world, someone you’ve trusted for years, or a leading specialist, don’t let that stop you from getting a second opinion. A second opinion may provide for a different course of treatment, a different diagnosis, and peace of mind knowing that you are making the right decision when it comes to your health.
Second opinions have become commonplace these days, as they allow patients to consult various specialists at the forefront of medicine. This helps them make the best decision regarding a care plan. And, with the rise of telehealth, patients no longer must travel long distances to obtain a second opinion.
Studies have made a case for getting a second opinion. For example, a 2017 Mayo Clinic study found as many as 88% of patients seeking a second opinion end up with a new or refined diagnosis, changing their care plan and potentially their lives. On the other hand, only 12% of patients received confirmation that the original diagnosis was complete and correct.
When to Get a Second Opinion
Not every situation warrants a second opinion. Common situations in which patients may benefit from a second opinion often include the following:
- When the diagnosis or treatment is unclear;
- When the patient is your child;
- When you want some peace of mind;
- When surgery is recommended; or
- When the diagnosis is cancer.
A second opinion may result in medical therapy rather than surgery; deciding to undergo testing at a different facility than was recommended; choosing to work with a different doctor; or choosing to wait rather than have immediate treatment. Just like any major decision—such as buying a house or a car or going to college—it’s not a bad idea to go to a couple of places to be sure you know what you’re getting and why. Similarly, being a good consumer of your medical care means seeking as much information as possible so you can decide what is best for you.
How to Get a Second Opinion
The process can be as simple as getting a referral from your current doctor, but you’ll want to make sure your insurance covers the charge. If it is not covered by your insurance, many hospitals offer online second opinions starting at $750. See the University of Chicago Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, or simply turn to Google and do your own research.
When Misdiagnosis Leads to Injury
If you have been injured due to misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation. Health care professionals have a duty to either (a) make an accurate diagnosis themselves or (b) refer patients to a specialist for a proper diagnosis. While you cannot sue over misdiagnosis alone, you can take action if that misdiagnosis leads to injury.
To find out whether you have grounds for a misdiagnosis injury case, contact our Michigan attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC today. We can be reached online or by phone at (888) 211-5798.