Why It Pays to Ask for a Second Medical Opinion
Humans make mistakes daily due to fatigue, misinformation, errors in judgment, and many other factors. Doctors are not immune to making mistakes. The reality is medical errors make up the third leading cause of death in the United States. Whether you’ve received abnormal test results or a seemingly risky surgery recommendation to treat a rare form of cancer, it never hurts to get a second medical opinion before seeking treatment. Dedicated to creating more proactive patients, Pegalis Law Group, LLC examines why you should seek advice from multiple sources for your health and safety.
Given Abnormal Test Results? Get a Second Medical Opinion
If you’ve received abnormal test results, the repercussions can be life-altering. While blood tests and biopsy results can often be lifesavers in diagnosing issues early enough for more successful treatment, they’re also prone to the occasional error. Perhaps the lab technician misread the test results, or there was faulty equipment at play. Samples could be mislabeled, switched, or stored incorrectly inside the lab. Human and machine errors often lead to false negatives. Sometimes serious conditions are misdiagnosed or even missed altogether. If you’ve experienced an abnormal test result, you may request a re-test from the same lab or seek a second opinion from an alternate one.
Get a Second Opinion if Diagnosed With a Rare Condition
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a rare illness or a form of cancer, getting input from multiple medical experts is usually in your best interest. Not all doctors have the same level of training and experience, nor do they all apply the same degree of aggressiveness when treating specific conditions. It’s essential to do your own research and consult with several specialists before agreeing to treatment. Be your own advocate. Learn as much as you can about the prognosis and possible treatment options. Be sure to ask about clinical studies and trials to weigh the pros and cons of specific treatments.
Get a Second Opinion if Recommended Treatment Is Risky
If your doctor recommends an invasive surgery or procedure, always seek a second opinion before agreeing to treatment. It’s your life, and you’re the one who must live with the consequences if the treatment is risky, invasive, or life-altering. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and allow yourself more control when making decisions about your healthcare. Some health insurance providers actually require a second opinion before authorizing coverage for treatments they may deem risky or controversial.
Get a Second Opinion if Your Symptoms Continue Post-Treatment
If your symptoms persist past treatment, it may be time to ask for a second medical opinion. Nobody should have to deal with chronic pain or protests from their body that something isn’t right. Consult other doctors right away to see if they agree with your initial diagnosis and recommended course of treatment. There are many schools of thought on treating illnesses and diseases. Be sure you’ve spoken to someone considered a specialist in the field for the best possible treatment.
Even if the Experts Agree, a Second Opinion Isn’t a Waste
Always go with your gut if you’re not comfortable with a diagnosis or treatment recommendation. Don’t ever feel like you must agree about something just because it’s what your doctor has told you. You’re not a difficult patient by seeking additional information and medical opinions. This is all part of being a proactive patient. Even if all of the experts agree on the best course of treatment, it never hurts to get a second opinion for your peace of mind. It’s about empowering you to make the best decisions about your healthcare. In the end, what matters most is that you feel well-informed about your treatment options, so you won’t ever wonder if you made the best possible choice.
An Advocate for Public Safety and Awareness for 50+ Years
Achieving some of New York’s largest verdicts and settlements over the past 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC represents clients with matters involving personal injury and medical malpractice. Our staff is also devoted to creating more public awareness about being proactive patients to improve universal healthcare. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about being proactive about your family’s healthcare.