Say the doctor’s proposed treatment plan for your diagnosis is complicated or risky. Or, maybe it has long-term consequences or serious side effects. What if there are a variety of treatment options?
Questions to ask
Before you agree to a treatment plan, discuss these questions with your primary care doctor or specialist:
If, after having this discussion, you feel confident that the treatment plan is the best course of action, you probably don’t need a second opinion. However, if you have doubts about the treatment plan, you may want to seek consultation.
Some people hesitate to seek a second opinion, so they won’t offend their doctor. But, doctors consult with colleagues all the time. Medicine is a vast field, and it would be very difficult for any individual to know about every cutting-edge advancement.
“Consultation has always been a part of good medical practice,” says David Walters, D.O., Botsford Hospital’s vice president and chief medical officer. “A physician should not be insulted if you decide to get further advice. Remember, a second opinion isn’t necessarily better than a first opinion. And, whether there is agreement or disagreement, the final decision is yours. Make it with all the facts. Don’t hesitate to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your doctor or specialist.”
When a second Opinion is appropriate