Confronting your doctor about concerns you have might feel uncomfortable. You may feel as though you lack the qualifications to suggest your diagnosis or treatment lacks validity.
However, advocating for your health is a critical part of protecting yourself from malpractice. Seeking a second opinion when you have concerns may improve your understanding, produce additional considerations and help you make a more informed decision about your health.
When to ask
A misdiagnosis, a faulty treatment plan or a misread test result. Each can have detrimental consequences. If overlooked, each of these mistakes could worsen your health and potentially threaten your life. According to CNBC, one of the best ways to advocate for your health is to bring another person with you to medical appointments. This may help you feel more comfortable asking questions about your condition.
Knowing when to ask for a second opinion can help you feel confident in your decision to proceed. Some examples of situations where a second opinion might help include the following:
- You need a risky treatment
- Your body rejects treatment
- You need a second opinion for health insurance reasons
- You have a rare health condition
- You have an unclear diagnosis
- You need a specialist
How to ask
You can ask your doctor for a referral to another specialist who can give you a second opinion. Sometimes, this might feel uncomfortable especially if you do not have a great relationship with your current doctor. If this is the case, you can ask your insurance provider if they have recommendations for a specialist you could see.
Other ways to find referrals include asking your local hospital, reaching out to friends and family, or even posting on a community social media page to see if anyone you know has some insight. Receiving a second opinion may reduce your uncertainty and help you identify the best course of action.