It is important that you are getting the best care and treatment for your health chronic illness. And sometimes that may mean getting a second opinion. You may need to seek an opinion from another health professional if the diagnosis just doesn’t feel right, if the treatment plan doesn’t feel like it’s going to work, or if the diagnosis is life or death. You might also want to seek another opinion from someone who is more experienced your condition. Seeking a second opinion can give you a confidence in your current health professional if both agree or it may give you another perspective on your condition.
Tips that may be helpful when talking to your health provider about getting a second opinion are:
- You can tell your health provider that you are going to get a second opinion or not, it’s up to you. But it is your right to seek one. Most good doctors will welcome the second opinion.
- If you do tell them, explain that you would like to “consider your options and get the advice from another doctor.”
- If you do tell your health provider, then they can give you a referral to a colleague of theirs or someone that you have found yourself.
- Ask your doctor to send any necessary paperwork needed for your consultation this might include medical history, test results, scans etc.
- If the health professional you are planning to see does not require a referral then ensure you still bring the relevant paperwork.
- There may be circumstances where you aren’t able to see other specialists, for example in a public hospital.
Adapted from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/second-opinions#:~:text=Getting%20a%20second%20opinion,see%20another%20doctor%20or%20specialist.
“I learned that good physicians and caregivers are not threatened or offended when their patient decides to seek a second opinion; rather, they welcome the input. And they actually want to answer questions from their patients about their treatment plans. They don’t want anyone going forward with a treatment plan they don’t fully understand. They are also willing to spend however much time is necessary ensuring their patient is comfortable and fully comprehends their diagnosis and the recommended treatment.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/be-your-own-advocate_b_4971477
Other sources and blogs that might be helpful