When Should I Seek a Second Doctor’s Opinion?February 21st, 2017
Medical malpractice is far more common than most people realize. According to a review published in the Journal of Patient Safety, between 210,000 and 440,000 hospital patients suffer some kind of preventable harm annually that ultimately contributes to their death.
Patients are not powerless when it comes to medical malpractice, though. reports that diagnostic errors are the most common type of healthcare mistake, and preventing such errors may be as simple as getting a second opinion.
If your doctor identifies a disease or condition that might be life threatening, it is only natural to seek treatment immediately; however, unless the circumstances are incredibly dire, you could benefit from getting a second opinion.
If you have suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you explore your options. Turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm to discuss your case and determine the best way to proceed. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule an initial consultation with a New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer today.
Let’s explore a few scenarios in which seeking a second opinion can be beneficial:
1. If You Have Concerns about the Diagnosis or Proposed Treatment
While it is true that some conditions do not manifest symptoms for an extended period of time, most health conditions will affect you in some way or another by the time you receive a diagnosis. If your doctor diagnoses you with a condition that does not correspond to any of the symptoms you are experiencing, it is entirely possible that your doctor–or the lab that processed any test results–is wrong.
If you have concerns about a diagnosis, you have every right to seek a second opinion. You may also feel inclined to seek another opinion if your symptoms do correspond to the diagnosis but you want to explore treatment options that your primary care provider did not offer.
2. If You Must Schedule an Invasive Procedure
If your doctor recommends surgery that is not an emergency, it is okay to postpone the procedure and seek a second opinion. Even routine surgeries pose serious risks to your health and can result in life-threatening complications.
3. If You Are Not Satisfied With Your Care
You need to develop a rapport of some kind with your primary care physician so you can feel comfortable discussing any personal issues related to your health. There is a variety of factors to consider when choosing a healthcare provider, and bedside manner is one of them. In fact, according to the New York Times, researchers have actually determined that doctors with poor bedside manner are more likely to face malpractice lawsuits.
You should never feel rushed during an appointment. If you are not satisfied with the care that you receive during the diagnostic phase, consider getting a second opinion from a different physician before you proceed with any treatments.
If you received substandard medical care, a medical malpractice lawyer from The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm can help. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule an initial consultation with a New Orleans medical malpractice attorney.