Today with technology and readily available information most Google geeks probably land up at a physician’s office after diagnosing themselves. But pause for a minute to think about how you go about that Google search or that medical second opinion . Who suggested the second doctor ? A friend relative or a family doctor ? What the network that this person has ? Is he someone who has studied all the medical history and found you the best specialist for that set of problems ? How do you know that this specialist saw each and every piece of information that was needed ? Is he the one who is able to join the dots?
70 PERCENT PEOPLE GET A SECOND OPINION ABOUT HOME IMPROVEMENT, 55 PERCENT ABOUT CAR REPAIR AND ONLY 23 PERCENT ABOUT GETTING THEIR TEETH STRAIGHT
We know that 25 percent of all diagnosis is wrong and yet we spend more time looking for a car than the right doctor ?
A recent poll showed that about 70% of Americans don’t feel compelled to get a second opinion or do additional research.
Five things you need to know about second opinions
- Your Doctor is not God – Don’t feel like your doctor will get offended if you take a second opinion. Good doctors welcome second opinions. God doctors don’t.
- Horses for courses- While your family doctor may know you well he may or maynot be the right doctor for every condition . Today is a world of super specialization and consulting a disease based specialist that suits your criteria is critical.
- The initial opinions affect the subsequent opinions – If is important to have an investigative approach to do a thorough differential diagnosis but often physicians may comply with the first opinion so maybe multiple second opinions or carefully presenting the case can help overcome this human tendency.
- Doctors are from Jupiter and patients are from Saturn- Most patients seek a specialist opinion without being referred through a primary care physician. Further when you communicate your case to a specialist you may focus on irrelevant information or miss out the important details. Having a patient advocate or a concierge physician draft out a clinical summary and list out questions can help overcome the communications breakdown that occurs between the specialist and the patient.
- The second doctor does not know you- we are more than just a kidney or an endocrine gland. A consolidated medical history and up to date medical records can be as important as choosing the right doctor.