Updated: Feb 23
Why You Should Always Get A Second Opinion After A Serious Medical Diagnosis
Receiving a diagnosis that you were not expecting can be life-changing. Not only is it important to understand your diagnosis and doctor’s recommendations, but it is also crucial to seek a second doctor’s opinion.
Based on a study by the Mayo Clinic, about 12 percent of people that obtained a second opinion came back with the same exact diagnosis. However, 21 percent of people received a completely different medical diagnosis. That means the remaining 67 percent of those that received a second opinion obtained a modified diagnosis or treatment plan.
Causes for Medical Misdiagnosis and Error
Since medical error is one of the top five leading reasons for death in the U.S., medical misdiagnosis is the main reason for malpractice lawsuits. This is why getting a second opinion is so important. However, why do patients receive misdiagnoses from medical doctors? Below are a number of reasons:
Misinterpreted lab and test results
Lack of enough time spent with patients to be able to gather all of the patients' symptoms
Not ordering proper screening for illnesses/diseases
Lack of follow-ups conducted with referred specialists
Patients not referred to the correct specialists
Lack of follow-ups with patients and their test results
Improper performance of tests
Furthermore, there is the possibility that a diagnosis can be ignored entirely. Such behavior leads to serious consequences because several diseases/illnesses require immediate treatment and time is of the essence. However, other times you can have a missed diagnosis without sustaining compensatory damages. To have a medical malpractice claim for a missed diagnosis, you have to prove that you suffered measurable damages, such as loss of function, loss of income, loss of life, and other medical expenses.
You Are Your Own Health Advocate
With physicians being deemed the authority in the medical field, it can feel overwhelming to question anything a doctor says to you. But, physicians are human and still make mistakes.
Whenever you receive a serious/life-threatening diagnosis or risky treatment plan, you should obtain a second opinion. Doctors usually encourage patients to obtain second opinions. You may want to ask them for a recommendation to a different physician. Also, you should understand your insurance policy and what obtaining a second opinion can mean for your coverage.
Always advocate for your health and yourself, it is vital. Do not be discouraged to research for yourself, ask questions, and share any relevant research.
Bryant Law Firm, LLC, has substantial experience in representing complicated medical malpractice cases. There is no charge for the Bryant Law Firm, LLC, to review your case. If we represent you, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis (calculated as a percentage of the recovery we obtain). Call an experienced attorney at 205-267-8561 today. Trust our team. We Put Your Wellbeing First!