5 Reasons When and Why You Need a Second Medical Opinion

5 Reasons When and Why You Need a Second Medical Opinion

Bajaj Finserv Health
February 04, 20225 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • A second medical opinion helps to clear your doubts about the diagnosis
  • With a second opinion, you can go for a less risky alternative treatment
  • Do go for a second opinion if you are not convinced with the diagnosis

Are you doubtful about certain diagnoses or the treatment plan your doctor has suggested? This is common, and you have the right to feel assured. In such cases, getting a second opinion from a different doctor or specialist may prove beneficial. In fact, a study reported that the final diagnoses in 66% of patients were more detailed than the initial diagnoses [1]. The same study discovered that the final diagnoses were completely different from the initial findings in 21% of cases. Doctors you visit for a second opinion may confirm the initial diagnosis and treatment or differ from it. In first case, you can be reassured about the earlier diagnoses. In second case, you may get a better way to recover from the health issues you are facing. You can even opt for a second opinion if you have doubts about any kind of medication. Read on to know when and why you should consider a second medical opinion.

how to get second medical opinionAdditional Read: How to Get Medical Loan

When and why should you go for a second medical opinion?

If you have a serious medical condition

Diagnoses of severe medical conditions such as chronic heart disease, stroke, and cancer can be overwhelming. As they may change your life completely, going for a second medical opinion may be a good idea. This is more important if the prognosis is poor or the treatment has high risks. 

Remember, doctors are humans too, which leaves room for errors during diagnoses. Additional opinions may improve your chances of getting the best treatment for yourself. In fact, some health insurers ask for a second medical opinion to cover diseases like cancer.

If you have a complex or rare disease

It can become quite frustrating and frightening if you get diagnosed with a complex or a rare disease [2]. Such diseases include thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle-cell anemia and more. Some rare diseases haven’t been researched and have studies underway, which makes the diagnosis and treatment difficult. In India, around 96 million people are living with a rare disease [3]. 

The lack of information on such disorders increases the chances of misdiagnosis. Also, the diagnosis of a rare disease usually takes a long time and the terms to measure may change frequently. The diagnosis, treatment, and management of such diseases can get complicated with time. In such cases, you can take a second medical opinion from specialists or experts in this field.

If you need to undergo risky surgeries and treatments

Sometimes, your doctor may suggest surgeries and invasive procedures that may have life-long consequences. Go for a second opinion, especially if the road to wellness involves risky medical procedures. It is wise to be proactive and gather more information before taking a final decision. 

Getting alternate medical advice may give you other options that you want to try first. Discuss all the treatment options with your doctor before you proceed. For instance, invasive joint surgeries are now replaced with minimally invasive procedures. A second opinion in such situations helps avoid surgeries and other conservative treatments.

If your instincts or gut indicates a problem

If you are not comfortable with a certain diagnosis or don’t feel good about the proposed treatment, a second medical opinion can help. Trust your gut and speak to another expert. Once you get much-needed confirmation or a better diagnosis, you can go ahead with the treatment.

If your symptoms do not show signs of improvement

Seek a second medical opinion if your symptoms persist even after taking medications or treatment for a long time. Do not neglect your health and reach out to other specialists. The only way to receive the right treatment is by getting the diagnosis correct. 

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What are the benefits of getting a second medical opinion?

It helps verify, reassure, and get clarity

A second opinion can help you confirm whether your initial diagnosis is appropriate. It may reassure you about the diagnosis and give you peace of mind. If not, it may help you find an alternative way towards wellness.

It helps you consider other treatment options

Seeking a second opinion may help you receive the best treatment plan and avoid risky treatments such as invasive surgery. 

It helps clear your doubts

You may still have questions or concerns about your diagnosis or suggested treatment plan. If your you are not convinced with your current physician, a second medical advice may help.

It helps you consult with experts 

Your treating physician may have certain limitations with respect to medical infrastructure or support staff. In some cases, your doctor may not be an expert in treating your health condition. Getting a second medical opinion may be a wise decision as it helps you get expert advice.

It helps you avail cost-saving treatment

Opting for second medical advice may provide you with cost-effective treatment and diagnostic options. For example, if one doctor prescribes a surgery, a more qualified and experienced doctor may suggest lifestyle changes with medication for the same condition.

Additional Read: Looking for Medical Insurance Plans?

Getting a second medical opinion can help you receive the right diagnosis and treatment. However, the costs of surgeries and other treatments for critical illnesses are too high today. To protect yourself and your family from unexpected medical expenses, buy the right medical and health insurance cover. 

Consider the Complete Health Solution plans offered by Bajaj Finserv Health. Protect the health of your family with a medical cover of up to Rs.10 lakh. These plans offer discounts and reimbursement benefits on doctor consultations and lab tests. Thus, you can get the best diagnosis for any health issue you are facing.

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  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jep.12747
  2. https://rarediseases.org/for-patients-and-families/information-resources/rare-disease-information/
  3. https://www.investindia.gov.in/team-india-blogs/understanding-rare-diseases#:~:text=The%20country%20has%20particularly%20high,non%2Dexistent%20access%20to%20treatment

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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