When to Get a Second Opinion

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You feel the doctor isn’t listening

Make sure your doctor sets aside sufficient time to listen to what is going on with your body, examine you and thoroughly explain his/her course of action. Your concerns should never be brushed aside or dismissed. Don’t settle for a doctor who is less than you deserve. Remember, you need to be your biggest advocate.

The doctor isn’t using all possible resources

Did he/she try all the appropriate tests? Were you referred to a specialist? Did he/she consider all the treatment options? If the answer to these questions is no, then those are good indicators that you should see another doctor.

Your doctor isn’t flexible

Does your doctor seem stuck in his/her ways? How does he/she react when you ask questions or bring ideas to the table? Your doctor should be a collaborative partner who is open to your input and who works in tandem with you. Sometimes taking a less popular or cutting edge approach is necessary for treating certain conditions.

You feel the doctor isn’t knowledgeable enough

Pay attention to your doctor’s answers. Your doctor should be up-to-speed with the latest research and treatment options. If your doctor often deflects questions or doesn’t fully provide answers, you may want to see someone who is more knowledgeable about the specialty.

If the diagnosis seems unclear

This happens more than people realize. Doctors aren’t always sure what is wrong with someone. The human body is complex, and not all symptoms are alike. When the results are fuzzy, it’s good to hear the insights of another doctor. A second opinion could shed new light, provide stronger diagnostic evidence or offer a completely different outcome from the first opinion.

Listen to your gut

At the end of the day, if you have any doubts or concerns, don’t ignore them. This is your health we’re talking about. If something feels not quite right, follow your intuition. Even if the results come back the same or nothing new is found, your conscience will be clear.