Are you too timid to speak up with concerns about your medical care?
EPATIENT Medical doctors throughout the U.S. receive the same type of education and must meet the same requirements before earning the right to practice medicine. Despite this fact, not all doctors treat patients in the same manner. Some doctors treat patients using conservative methods, while others employ a more aggressive approach. Patients may be uncomfortable with a physician's bedside manner, course of treatment or lack thereof.
At times, your doctor may diagnose you with a medical condition, but you do not agree with his or her findings. When this occurs, you may wish to seek a second opinion. A second opinion may help you to receive further information concerning your illness. You may learn about new treatments that will help you decide which therapies and medications are best for your needs.
Second opinions are necessary if your doctor wants to prescribe experimental drugs or diagnoses you with a serious illness. You may also seek a second opinion if your medical treatment involves the use of experimental medical equipment or methods.
‘I would like a second opinion’ is more polite than ‘I disagree.’
When you tell your doctor you would like a second opinion, it is important to be polite. Honestly discuss your concerns and explain why you feel the need to speak with another medical professional. A good physician will not be offended when asked to be referred to another doctor. Your doctor will also provide you with any medical records and test results so they can be studied by the physician who offers the second opinion. Ideally, the second physician should be located at another medical facility so that he or she can offer a fresh perspective on your medical condition.
Before making an appointment with the second doctor, make sure your health insurance provider covers appointments for second opinions. Although the majority of insurance companies pay for such office visits, you should check with your health insurance provider before setting up the appointment. Sometimes, you may feel you need to consult with a third doctor. If this describes your situation, you will also need to ensure that health insurance will cover the third doctor visit as well. As a patient, you may need to serve as your own advocate in order to overcome any obstacles health insurance companies may place in your way.
When faced with a serious illness or experimental medical procedures, a savvy patient will not be afraid to ask his or physician for a second opinion. No doctor is perfect. Just because physicians wear white lab coats and attended school for many years does not mean they are infallible. If a physician recommends costly medication for leg swelling when support hose will do just as well, patients will not be aware of this fact if they do not seek a second opinion. It's crucial that every patient is aware of their options for appropriate medical treatments in order to ensure that they receive the best medical care possible.