Get a Second Opinion


It’s usually wise to get a second opinion. If you like the first doctor, you can always return to them. If you don’t like them, you will definitely need another opinion. By “like” I don’t mean you’d want to hang out with the doctor. Do you respect them? Can you trust them to treat you?

Don’t feel you’re hurting their feelings by seeking another opinion, or transferring doctors. It’s your right. How many pair of shoes, or outfits do you try before buying one? Without “doctor shopping” do your homework, and treat the appointment as an interview. You’re the one doing the hiring.

Bring information from the first doctor to the second opinion. (The receptionist at the second doctor’s office may request you send it ahead for them to review.) Know your diagnosis, your stage (if you know it at this point), and options for treatment, along with how to reduce chances for possible reoccurrence. Ask questions. If you’re interested in trial (experimental) treatments, ask about your options. Do you have confidence in this doctor’s ability to treat you?

If not, go find someone who speaks highly of their doctor, and go for a third opinion. Once you’ve found your doctor, avoid “doctor shopping.”

If you don’t know where to go for a second opinion, you might ask the doctor, staff, or people you know. Look around in your community for hospitals, clinics with good reputations. Look at the doctor’s bio on the hospital’s website. If you get a good feel from what’s written, make an appointment for a consultation.

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