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In which case should I ask for the second opinion of the doctor?

Ivan Orlov
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In which case should I ask for the second opinion of the doctor?

Despite the development of the health care system and the improvement of the quality of medical care, patients are not always sure of the correct diagnosis or prescribed treatment plan. Sometimes these doubts turn out to be false, sometimes not. This is often explained by the lack of modern equipment by the attending physicians, however, when in doubt, the patient is advised to think about getting a �second opinion� of an independent specialist and �double-check� the diagnosis.

What is the "second opinion of the doctor"?

The second opinion of the doctor is a detailed and independent assessment of the patient�s medical history, diagnosis, or treatment plan by another medical professional. Most often, in order to receive a second opinion, patients turn to world-class leading experts.

The doctor can confirm or change the patient's diagnosis, discuss the treatment regimen with the patient, suggest alternative options, including passing additional diagnostics. International studies have shown that obtaining a second opinion by an independent expert often leads to a change of diagnosis (about 20% of cases) or to a change in treatment regimen (up to 60% of cases).

Usually, patients are asked to receive a �second opinion� when they doubt the correctness of the established diagnosis, as well as if the chosen treatment is too complicated, with serious risks, side effects or a threat to life. There are several factors in which experts recommend that other medical professionals seek �second opinion�:

  • the attending physician recommends that the patient undergo serious surgery;
  • the patient was diagnosed life threatening;
  • the patient was diagnosed with a rare disease;
  • the patient doubts the prescribed treatment.

How to get a "second opinion" doctor?

In order to receive the Second Opinion, the patient must prepare the following documents:

  • currently diagnosed;
  • all documentation confirming the diagnosis, for example, MRI scans and analyzes;
  • description of the treatment that the patient has received so far;
  • medical history, including all chronic diseases, allergies, surgery, drug therapy;
  • list of questions to the specialist.

If a patient wants to get an opinion of an international doctor, for example, a leading specialist from a foreign clinic, patients are recommended to apply to international online platforms that specialize in finding and organizing treatment throughout the world.

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