Second Opinion is becoming a more and more spread medical practice which offers patients the possibility to look for a higher certainty level in relation to a certain diagnosis or treatment.
Sometimes, the medical condition a person is diagnosed with can seem much more serious in relation to the symptoms had or with the recommended treatment. In such moments, the best decision a patient can take is to request the advice of a second doctor, which will assess the patient’s history, his manifestations and the results of the tests, confirming or denying the initial diagnosis.
Doctors start to be more and more open about such decisions from their patients, as the cooperation degree between specialists is growing, medical communities being in a closer and closer relation. Moreover, doctors request the expertise of their colleagues when they need the confirmation of a complex diagnosis.
When is it recommendable to request a Second Opinion?
- In case the diagnosis is a rare condition - although patients tend to think this will not happen to them, sometimes they are in the situation in which they have to accept such a diagnosis. In case of a rare condition, it is recommendable for the patient to request a second opinion to have certainty and, if the two diagnoses coincide, he must choose the most efficient treatment.
- In case the suggested treatment is dangerous - sometimes medical conditions have more than one way of healing, some treatments having major secondary effects. A Second Opinion is recommended when the doctor requests invasive treatments with significant risks, such as surgeries. So, the patient receives guarantees in relation to the treatment he must undergo.
- If you are following a treatment as a result of which you do not feel better - sometimes the standard treatment for a certain disease cannot be effective, so that is why the patient should request a Second Opinion to explore other diagnosis and treatment options.
The pharmaceutical technology and industry constantly evolve, new practices and treatments appear, forcing the doctors to be up to date to all related novelties. That is why, the Second Opinion represents the most adequate mechanism with which the patient can have a higher certainty degree and be as informed as possible to be able to take assumed decisions.
Patients must keep in mind that any person is entitled to a second medical opinion and that this process can be essential in the healing process. The only moment when the patient must consider waiving this process is when it is necessary to start the treatment urgently. In such cases, losing time can have negative consequences.
A private medical insurance can prove to be of great help as it covers the costs of the medical procedures the Second Opinion entails. Some diagnoses, to be reliable, need procedures such as biopsies or scans, that is why the coverage of the costs by a medical insurance is an advantage for the patient.