In our previous article about when to get a second medical opinion, we explained what a second medical opinion is and advised when you should seek one. At this point, you’ve likely made up your mind. You want to consult another doctor. So how do you go about it? Here are some important considerations to bear in mind.
Tell the doctor who provided the first medical opinion
This can be a bit scary, as you may not know how your doctor will react. But to avoid damaging the relationship with your doctor, we recommend notifying him or her that you will get a second medical opinion. This ensures your doctor will never feel like you’re going behind his or her back. An added benefit is that he or she can provide any necessary information the new doctor may request.
Clarify your reason for seeking a second medical opinion
Why are you seeking a second medical opinion? Do you no longer trust your primary care doctor and are searching for a new provider? Do you want a second doctor to confirm your original diagnosis, providing you confidence to proceed with treatment? Answering these questions can help you determine whether or not you really need a second medical opinion and prepare you to act once you hear the second diagnosis.
Tell your new doctor you're seeking a second medical opinion
This will focus the doctor’s attention on your concern and foster an open, honest dialogue between you and the new doctor. What’s more, your first doctor may have medical records that contain critical information about your condition. Bring these records to your appointment and share them with your new doctor.
Prepare yourself to spend more time and effort
As mentioned in our previous article about when to seek a second medical opinion, consider the seriousness of the diagnosis beforehand. Seeking a second medical opinion requires an additional time commitment. So if you have a light skin rash that’s mildly irritating, it’s probably not worth the effort to see another doctor.
Take the internet’s opinion with a grain of salt
If you rely on trustworthy sites like mayoclinic.org and webmd.com, you can get a credible background briefing on your potential condition. With that said, the internet is not a doctor and healthcare’s brightest minds are typically not spending their time on forums or blogging. So resist the urge to self-diagnose yourself.
If you choose to get a second medical opinion, be aware that you may be more inclined to follow advice from the second doctor. However, we recommend carefully considering both medical opinions equally. Even if the second medical opinion differs from your original diagnosis, your first doctor’s opinion may still be more accurate.
Your health insurance provider may offer a second-medical opinion service within your plan. Luma have an international medical team on hand to offer a second-medical opinion to all of our members. If you have more questions about this service or would like to learn more about Luma health insurance plans, get in touch with us today.