Dr. Georgiou explains when a patient should ask for a second medical opinion.
I would recommend that women get a second opinion in two specific circumstances. One, if you have already seen a doctor who is recommending surgery and it is major surgery, there is no harm in getting a second opinion. You can make sure that the surgery is necessary, that you’ve heard all of your options, and that you are really hearing all of the risks and benefits and potential complications that could be coming from deciding to have the surgery or deciding to not have the surgery. So that’s one set of circumstances.
The other one is, even if you are not having surgery but you have a complicated medical diagnosis or a situation where the doctor doesn’t really know what’s going on – that’s okay if a doctor doesn’t understand what’s going on, but that doesn’t mean that you should just live without an answer to whatever your symptoms are and so, in those circumstances where you have symptoms, it’s unclear what the diagnosis is, then it’s really important to see a specialist for that condition to really help get clarity on what condition is creating the symptoms that you have.
A lot of people are concerned about offending their doctor when they ask for their records to be forwarded to a second opinion doctor. It doesn’t really matter. They are your lab tests; they are your test results and you have a right to have those medical records forwarded so that they don’t have to be repeated by your second opinion doctor and so first of all, a good doctor shouldn’t get offended, but even if they do let them get over it. Get the test to the other doctor and get the care that you need.
About Dr. Archelle Georgiou, M.D.:
Dr. Archelle Georgiou combines her deep knowledge of clinical medicine with a breadth of experience in business and health care administration to pursue her passion for simplifying the health care system. As a practicing physician and as a corporate managed care executive, Dr. Georgiou learned and leveraged the value and importance of simple and compelling communication to influence impacting patients’ personal health care behaviors as well as driving health care purchasing decisions and business growth.