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Have you ever had a poor medical experience at a hospital or with a doctor? Was the diagnosis incorrect? Was the treatment plan decided for you not adequate? Did you know all the side effects associated with the medicines you would take? Did you think of going to a different doctor for a second look?
With the news often showing medical negligence and the out of pocket expenditure increasing for medical care, one is bound to have such questions. Moreover, only over 15% of people in India are covered under Insurance. The quality of care, accessibility, and cost of treatment are some factors that help us decide where we should get our treatment from. But, it is often beneficial to get a separate set of eyes to look into the medical condition, once before the treatment.
So, what is a Second Opinion?
A second opinion is simply getting a medical opinion from a doctor, other than the one you are already consulting. It is almost similar to when you make a major purchase, or a life-defining decision, you seek more information. A second opinion helps you gain confidence in your diagnosis and treatment plan, and clears all your doubts. It also helps you find the right doctor and hospital for your medical needs.
Why should one opt for a Second Opinion?
Opting for a second opinion helps you go through the treatment options possible for the kind of ailment you have. It also helps identify if you are misdiagnosed. In India, patients prefer knowing the treatment costs at different hospitals before choosing one for treatment.
Duration of the treatment, accessibility of the doctor, comfort with the doctor, cost of the diagnosis, treatment, procedures, post-procedure, medications, are all clarified when one opts for a second opinion. You get a lot of information about your health condition, treatment options, costs, post-treatment requirements, ultimately helping you in making an informed decision about your health.
What medical ailments require a Second Opinion?
Ideally, one may get a second opinion for any serious medical issue. People often seek a second opinion for cancer treatment, second opinion on biopsy results, prostate cancer second opinion, lung cancer second opinion, breast cancer second opinion, second opinion for knee replacement, second opinion for pregnancy scan, second opinion for heart surgery, second opinion for kidney treatment.
Usually, patients opt for a second opinion for major surgeries or treatment procedure of specialties including Cardiology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nephrology, Neurology, Infertility, Oncology and Orthopedics.
Is there a third opinion as well?
Usually, a second opinion is sufficient for individuals to make a decision. Sometimes, one may identify that they have been misdiagnosed. In such a case, confusion may arise and require another consultation. It is always better to get another opinion from a different hospital to avoid any bias or errors.
Will asking for a second opinion offend the previous doctor?
Absolutely not. Asking for a second opinion is a patient’s right. Getting and understanding all the relevant information helps make the right decision. A second opinion has become a standard procedure for all critical treatments, procedures and surgeries. One should not hesitate to ask questions or feel guilty for getting a second opinion.
So, where can one get a second opinion from?
Through websites like credihealth.com, you can also opt for online second opinion consultation at top hospitals in the country like HCG hospital. You can also choose to ask your doctor to refer you to another specialist to clear any of your remaining doubts. Many leading hospitals have special packages and programs for a second opinion, especially, second opinion for cancer treatment. You can visit the hospital or check in with a medical expert at Credihealth for more details.
Finally, What next?
Once you have the information from the first consultation and the second opinion, the final decision depends on how similar or different the doctor recommendations are. If they are different, try to understand why it is so, try to weigh in the pros and cons, speak to both the doctors again, or discuss it with another medical expert.
Understand your requirements as well. See what suits your pocket, what is more accessible, whose credentials and opinions are more valuable to you, who are you more comfortable with. Then, make your final decision.
Opting for a second opinion can be a time-consuming process and may cost you a bit more, but in the long run, it gives you better results. With medical advancements happening every day, diagnostics and treatment options have increased and improved. It is always beneficial to understand all your options and then, make an informed medical decision.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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