Getting an unexpected medical diagnosis can leave you feeling confused and unsure of what to do next. While you trust your health care provider, you may wish to get a second opinion to provide reassurance.
Seeking a second opinion can aid in your ability to make confident decisions about your health and help you identify your next steps.
Finding another doctor
Looking for another health care provider to provide a second diagnosis may look a bit different than your search for your current doctor. Depending on your condition, you may choose to look for a doctor who specializes in treating the health conditions you received a diagnosis for. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you ask people you trust for reliable recommendations.
Collect your medical records including the results of any tests or scans you have taken. Clearly articulate your reason for wanting a second opinion and come to your appointment prepared with questions. Experts also suggest calling around to verify which health care providers are in network with your insurance provider.
Identifying a course of action
Once you have the opinion of a couple of medical experts, you may feel better about choosing a course of action. If you felt unsure of what to do prior to getting a second opinion, having additional information can fill in the holes and direct you toward choosing a treatment option that will work for you.
Throughout your treatment, you can advocate for your health through your participation in making decisions about your care. By asking for a second opinion and prioritizing your understanding of your diagnosis, you can reduce the risks of misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.