It is instilled in most people from an early age that they can trust their physicians. There’s no question as to how helpful doctors can be, but unfortunately, they are human and thus susceptible to mistakes. No professional, regardless of how well trained, can be one hundred percent right 100% of the time. This is why it’s so important for individuals to get second opinions when it comes to their medical health. This isn’t just a good rule of thumb — it could possibly be lifesaving.
When to get a Second Opinion
Most people visit their doctor and leave the office having full faith in the fact that their doctor has diagnosed them accurately. This is often the case since most medical visits aren’t related to life threatening conditions. There are a few instances, however, when even the most trusting patient should consider getting a second opinion from another medical professional.
- Surgery Recommended
Every patient should get a second opinion before deciding to undergo any type of surgery.
- Doctor Recommends Long Term Treatment
Any time a doctor recommends a long term medication, it is important to get a second opinion since all drugs have side effects.
- Failing to get Better
A common sign that it may be time to get a second opinion is when the treatment a doctor has prescribed isn’t working.
- Doctor Recommends Drastic Treatment
There are several drastic treatments other than surgery. If a physician recommends any of these, a second opinion is in order
- No Diagnosis When a physician can’t find the root cause of a person’s symptoms, it’s definitely time for a second opinion.
Not getting a Second Opinion can be Deadly
One of the most detrimental things that can happen to a person is being misdiagnosed by a physician. Unfortunately, a second doctor gives a different diagnosis in one out of every five cases where a person seeks a second opinion. This means that incorrect diagnoses are more common than most people think. Unfortunately, this is often caused by rushed physicians who on average spend no more than a few minutes with each of their patients.
Whether it’s a Florida or Syracuse medical malpractice attorney, they would tell you that when a doctor doesn’t perform possibly lifesaving tests due to time constrictions, they have certainly engaged in medical malpractice by deviating from normal practices. The few minutes that a doctor saves by simply assuming the most obvious diagnosis is never worth a person’s life. Unfortunately, things like heart attacks, whiplash and cancer can go completely undiagnosed by negligent physicians. These conditions can lead to anything from depression to death.
Since failing to get a second opinion may allow an inaccurate diagnosis to stand, which can be detrimental, patients should even get second opinions when they’re simply unsure about the diagnosis that their doctor has made. Understandably, this occurs much more often now that people can learn the symptoms of every disease by simply going online. Regardless, if a person is unsure or uncomfortable about the diagnosis their doctor has provided, getting a second opinion may save their life.
When a physician fails to properly diagnose a person, it is likely that that individual will be able to receive compensation for any losses they’ve suffered due to that misdiagnosis. While this may seem appealing, it’s far more important to simply seek a second opinion in the first place. A victim of medical malpractice may be compensated for their loss related to a misdiagnosis, but a second opinion that can prevent years of suffering or death is worth far more.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Guest Author – Kelly Dennie writes about an array of topics to inform and establish accountability in the areas of health, law, and education. In a situation where a misdiagnosis occurs, a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney from Bottar Leone would say the law enables patients to seek redress through the judicial system. Medical malpractice lawyers safeguard and uphold these constitutional rights.