Everyone has the right to take control of their health, and everyone should feel confident about any treatments they undergo or decisions made about their care. Getting a second medical opinion may be important for a person to have the level of confidence they need to make wise decisions for themselves and their families.
Many people feel uneasy about seeking a second opinion for fear that they will offend their initial doctor. However, the American Cancer Society indicates that reputable physicians support patients getting additional input and may even recommend other doctors to contact. Patients are encouraged to have open dialogues with their doctors about their wishes for a second opinion.
The scenarios in which a person may want additional information include the lack of any diagnosis by a first doctor despite symptoms continuing. A second opinion may help people avoid missing an essential diagnosis. Very Well Health adds that people make it a priority to get a second opinion after they are given a very serious, especially life threatening, diagnosis.
A second opinion can also be helpful when a condition has been confirmed and a patient is evaluating their treatment options. There might be multiple options from which they will want to choose. Some treatments may be more invasive than others or include more extreme outcomes, such as an amputation, necessitating a thorough evaluation ahead of time. When an experimental treatment is offered, more proven methods should be compared as well.