You consulted another doctor for a Second Opinion…but what to do now?
There are many reasons why you can request a second medical opinion. For example:
- You want to be sure the diagnosis and treatment plan you received are the only option
- You receive several treatment options and don´t know which one to choose
- You feel uncertain about the options you received.
Whatever the reason is to request a second opinion, it is always good to make sure you make the right decision concerning your treatment and therefore your health.
Sometimes this results in an advice to start with a “lighter” treatment option with less impact and if this does not work you can move to more invasive treatments. Although in some situations waiting might be too risky and you are advised to start with more invasive treatment now. It is difficult to make this decision if you´re not medically trained.
Reaching out to someone who can weigh the options and give you good solid advice with the pro´s and cons´ of the proposed treatments and possible new options can be very helpful. Just remember that you are the one to decide if you want to follow the outcome of the Second Opinion or not. You are the one deciding to start a treatment or not, supported by your treating doctor.
You can request this Second Opinion by making an appointment with a second doctor. It is important that you take the available medical information including scans/x-rays, laboratory results, etc., so the doctor has all information available to give you advice. In some situations, they would like to have this information upfront, to make sure they have all the information they need to give you good advice. The goal of a second opinion is not directly to change your treating doctor, although this is an option if you feel more comfortable with the other doctor and (s)he is taking patients. Normally you´ll get an advice which you can discuss and follow with your treating team.
Many people find it difficult to open the conversation with their treating physician about requesting a second opinion. Please know there is absolutely no need! Doctors ask for second opinions to their colleagues on a daily basis. As every person is unique and two people know more than one, they have a lot of inter-colleague consultations.
To help this conversation it is good idea before you request a second opinion to mention this to your doctor. This makes it easier to go back with the outcome afterwards. If you have not done this, no problem, just bring the report to your next appointment and discuss it with them, also if there is a discrepancy between the Second Opinion and the advice of your doctor. The important aspect is that you have an open discussion before you decide which treatment you want to start. It also may help to send the report before your appointment, so the doctor has the time to read it and to discuss it more in-depth with you during the appointment.
You can have a face-to-face second opinion, but Foyer Global Health also gives you the opportunity to have a Second Opinion through the Best International Experts in the world without having to leave your home. This is offered through Best Doctors and is offered to you at no additional cost. This has resulted in almost 30% of the cases in a change of diagnosis and in 63% of cases a change of treatment*.
*Source: 2020 Best Doctors report