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