A medical misdiagnosis is an error that can have a profound effect on a person’s life. That is why some Georgia residents choose to seek a second opinion before undergoing a treatment that they have doubts about. Doing so may not only prevent unnecessarily invasive forms of treatment, it may even save lives. According to Fox News, mistaken diagnoses occur in one fifth of patients. Of those cases that are misdiagnosed, 50 percent of the errors may be dangerous for the patient.
Any time a doctor recommends a surgery or intrusive procedure that is not an immediate emergency, a second opinion may be a good idea. At best, the second doctor discovers that the surgery is not necessary and at worst, he or she confirms the original diagnosis. Since many procedures can be risky even for people who are in good health, there is very little downside to seeking a second opinion.
In addition, patients would be wise to trust their gut instincts. If the diagnosis a doctor gives or the treatment he prescribes doesn’t sit well with the person, a second opinion could be warranted. If the second doctor confirms the initial diagnosis, the patient will have peace of mind and if another diagnosis is made, at least he or she will have options.
Should someone decide to pursue a second opinion, there are a few things to look out for according to U.S. News & World Report. If the second opinion differs from the first, a third or even fourth opinion may be a good idea. The idea is to find at least two doctors whose opinions align. Also, the patient should conduct research to make sure that the two doctors they visit do not have a friendly relationship. Doctors who know each other may be more inclined to provide the same diagnosis. Finally, if the first doctor discourages a second opinion or does not seem supportive of the idea, patients should beware.