Imagine that you have just spoken to your doctor and received a life-altering diagnosis. After hanging up the phone, you sit reeling in your chair wondering what is going to happen with the rest of your life. This scenario plays out in many homes annually, so if you have just had this experience realize that you are not alone. Here are four tips why your next step should be to seek out a second opinion.
Check Your Doctor’s Credentials
According to The Association of Caring Nurses (fighting against) So-Called Alternative Medicine (ACN SCAM), Americans spend over $37 billion each year seeing alternative medicine practitioners. While these men and women often believe strongly in the form of medicine that they practice, most do pseudoscientific treatments provided by them do not have scientific testing behind them. Therefore, make sure that you get a diagnosis from a board-certified doctor that deals specifically in the condition you have been diagnosed with before agreeing to start any treatment. Do not let others leave you astray while there may still be time to get scientifically proven treatment.
Everyone has had a time in their lives when they have been confused about what someone is trying to tell them. Often times, another individual can step in and explain it in a way that the first person is just unable to do. This stops the process of being confused, and it allows you to move on to the step of choosing which treatment is the right one for you. Since medical science is changing very rapidly, the second doctor may know of a treatment that the first doctor does not know about yet. Having all your options explained to you clearly allows you to make the right decision about your personal treatment. Just like in other areas of your life, medical doctors sometimes choose to disagree on the best treatment, so getting another opinion allows you to hear someone else’s point of view.
While you may not like the life-altering diagnosis that you have been given, many people find it reassuring to hear it from more than one trusted medical doctor who has arrived at their decision independently. This assures you that two doctors have looked at all the medical evidence and arrived at the same conclusion. Then, you are ready to start making decisions about what you want to do with the future and what traditional treatments are the right ones for you. One reason that many people do not openly seek another opinion is that they are afraid of hurting their primary doctor’s feelings, but the truth is that they often welcome the second opinion as well.
Stop Responding to Treatment
Sometimes a person will agree with what their first doctor tells them starting treatment right away. Then, they discover that they are not responding as well to treatment as they had hoped. At that point, many people seek a second opinion. A fresh pair of scientifically-trained eyes may be able to figure out why the treatment is not working as expected or recommend changing the treatment plan. Unfortunately, despite all the advances in medical science, it is still an art, so different people find different doctors may be more successful in treating them. Some people may also find that they are just more comfortable being treated by someone new that has a different bedside manner or technique after agreeing to start treatment. You have the right to change your mind at any point during your treatment.
If you have been given a life-altering diagnosis, then you will want to get a second opinion. Just like solving a problem using teamwork, two or more heads is often better than one as long as it is not delaying life-saving treatment.