I’ve always believed in getting second medical opinions, but I had no idea how important they were. I just read the following:
A study finds that 88% of people who go for a second opinion after seeing a doctor wind up receiving a refined or new diagnosis.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic examined 286 patient records of individuals who had decided to get a second opinion. These were patients referred by Mayo Clinic’s General Internal Medical Decision over a two-year period. They ultimately found that with a second opinion, the physician only confirmed the original diagnosis 12% of the time. 66% received a refined or redefined diagnosis, while 21% were diagnosed with something completely different than what their first physician concluded.
Can you imagine receiving a diagnosis that you have a terminal disease and then believing it without getting a second opinion?
I love doctors; I think they are some of the most wonderful people. But they do range in competence from poor to outstanding and everything in between. Also, medical issues can be extremely complex and difficult to diagnose.
So, what do we do when we get a second opinion that is different from the first? My immediate recourse is to consult Dr. Google. 😊 I’m learning how to access the more reliable sites, as well as those sites that are geared toward people who are unfamiliar with medical terms. There are some good ones. Also, I get a third, fourth, and have even been known to get a fifth opinion before proceeding with a course of treatment. This was the case with a sinus surgery I’m so pleased to have had, because some of the other courses suggested would not have been as successful.
Obviously, we don’t need to get second opinions for colds, the flu, COVID, and other common illnesses. However, when somebody is suggesting surgery or a major illness, that’s the time to start cranking up Dr. Google and seeking other opinions.
I hope you find this information of use.
Carl B. Barney
February 13, 2023
6 thoughts on “Remarkable Medical Statistic”
I’m a respected Dr and this statistic is indeed remarkable but doesn’t surprise me that much. Medical diagnosis is sometimes very difficult and often a second opinion is with a higher level specialist who knows more or advanced/specialized center like CHOP as mentioned above. Agree that for anything serious ir complicated/esoteric multiple consultations are very appropriate. Even if same or similar diagnosis may get different treatment ideas.
This study refers to people getting diagnosed *outside* the Mayo Clinic, getting second opinions *within* the (obviously extremely capable) Mayo Clinic. That’s going to tend to upgrade the quality of the second opinion which is going to tend to emphasize the problem.
But I know of a case of second opinion reversing a diagnosis entirely *within* the Mayo Clinic. One group of Mayo Clinic surgery specialists reviewed the evidence and decided not to operate on a late stage cancer patient, thinking the cancer had already spread too far. The patient had concerns and discussed this with her oncologist (cancer doctor overseeing the case), and the oncologist scheduled a second group of surgery specialists to have a second review of the case, and the decision was reversed. She did have the surgery and it was extremely helpful, clearly the right thing to do. She had the best doctors in the world, and she still had to push for that crucial second opinion. We are all responsible for our own health.
Always remember, half of doctors were in the bottom half of the class. Worse yet, medical schools are discarding merit in admissions, in favor of “diversity, equity, inclusion.” I was seeing a minority neurologist years ago and he was superlative. Probably saved my life. He moved to a distant hospital. He was so good, not long ago I drove 150 miles to see him again to get his opinion of a change in treatment that was being proposed by my local medical providers. So believe me, I know competence when I see it, and competence can be seen in persons of any race. But when professional schools abandon intelligence testing in admissions and instead institute policies that that value relatively darker skin color or unusual sexual orientation, or any other irrelevant characteristic over merit, watch out. More incompetence is bound to ensue.
This is 100% correct.
Thank you for this fact finding sir
Thank you Carl. This is very helpful, especially for those of us getting on in years. I’m 76 years young and in relatively good health. I take 16 supplements recommended by Dr. Sandra Kaufmann (https://kaufmannprotocol.com/introduction). She continues to review research into supplements and reports on the latest findings. In her new book, Aging Solutions, she recommends Magnesium Threonate as the best form of magnesium to sustain brain health. I’m going to add it to my supplement regimen.
Cheers, Alex Bleier
My grandson was diagnosed with an oversized head shortly after birth.
At eight months, the doctor that saw my grandson scheduled surgery to drill a hole in this
baby’s head, insert a tube into his stomach so that liquid would leak out and make his head smaller.
He would then have to go back to a doctor every year of his ‘life’ and check it out.
I insisted that my son get two more opinions! He first went to CHOP in Philadelphia and got
a second opinion (he was able to do this within two weeks only because I knew people at the hospital). The doctor saw him and said that his baby’s head was ‘fine’ & in time it will get a little smaller.
The baby was acting normally and growing accordingly. The third said the same!
My son and his wife are first-time parents and knew nothing about handling this. He is fortunate to have an experienced mother to stop this immediately.
My son doesn’t know what to do about preventing this doctor to do this to someone else. In fact, his current pediatrician told them ‘this doctor has a tendency to go for surgery right away.’
I’m glad you wrote the article. It’s 100% true. “Young parents BE WARE!”