Let's face it. Medical conditions are not always easily diagnosed, especially if you're believed to be suffering from a rare illness, are presenting with complex symptoms or your disease has already reached an advanced stage. That's why many medical experts note that any patient who's told their best option involves surgery should first get a second opinion.
One important benefit of seeking out a second doctor's diagnosis of your medical condition is that the next physician may rely on a different approach for determining what's making you ill.
To understand just how difficult rendering a diagnosis may be, take the example of Lyme disease. It can be difficult to diagnosis, especially the longer a patient has had it. Many patients who suffer from it may have similar symptoms to someone who has multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis or even a B-12 deficiency.
Getting a second opinion, therefore, is important to ensure that you aren't misdiagnosed. It's especially important considering how, according to the BMJ Quality & Safety Journal, at least 12 million American adults receive the wrong diagnosis on an annual basis.
If you happened to see your general practitioner for your initial diagnosis, you may wish to see a specialist the second time around. Someone with more specialized knowledge in a particular system in the body may be able to better distinguish more effectively between one debilitating illness and another.
The third reason it comes highly recommended that you seek out a second opinion is to see what other treatment options another doctor may offer. One doctor may believe that your breast cancer has the potential of being resolved with a simple lumpectomy while another will only consider performing a more invasive mastectomy.
Asking questions about the different care plans may help you make a more informed decision as to what's right for you.
If you suspect that your physician has misdiagnosed your condition, a Tucson hospital and doctor errors attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit.