You have the right to ask another doctor for a second opinion

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

Going to the doctor can be a stressful experience, especially if you find yourself disagreeing with your doctor’s analysis of your symptoms. If you express concern about something, only to have your doctor brush it off without testing or even real consideration, it can be a very disempowering experience.

The rise in digital medical information has made it easier for patients to research their symptoms and educate themselves about their health. Instead of viewing this new desire to know and understand health issues as a positive thing, many doctors have a knee-jerk, negative response to patients who arrive for an appointment with a preconceived notion of what the diagnosis might be or why they have experienced certain symptoms.

Physicians seem to resent the idea that patients would take it upon themselves to connect their experience with a potential diagnosis before seeking medical advice, although the very act of attending an appointment makes it clear that someone wants to defer to the experts. Some doctors seemingly reject the opinions of their patients without giving an adequate explanation for why they do so. This can leave their patients wondering if they should get a second opinion.

You can always try talking with your doctor

Some people want to treat their desire for a second opinion like a secret they should hide from their physician. However, wherever you go to seek the diagnostic expertise of another physician, they will very likely request medical records from the physician you saw initially.

That means your physician will know you went elsewhere for a second opinion. It also means their original diagnosis will impact the opinion of the physician you see later on. Instead of immediately trying to find someone else to override your doctor’s opinion, you might want to try explaining your concerns to your physician.

If they aren’t open to your feedback, then seeing someone at a different practice may be in your best interests, particularly if you haven’t received a diagnosis or aren’t responding to the recommended treatment or medication.

You should definitely seek outside medical advice if you suspect a major mistake

Doctors can make mistakes, just like anyone else, and like other people, they may try to cover their mistakes instead of taking responsibility for them. If you believe tyour doctor made a significant error in treatment or diagnosis, they may speak to you carefully to avoid implicating themselves.

Having another physician review your records or the treatment you received can help you determine whether or not your physician acted in a way that follows modern medical standards. If another physician agrees your doctor failed to behave in a reasonable manner or misdiagnosed your symptoms, you can use that new opinion to connect with the care you still require.

In circumstances where a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose negatively impacts your life, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages as a result of your physician’s failure.

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