You go to the doctor, and he or she gives you an opinion about your ailment and your treatment needs. You trust the doctor, going home to carry out that treatment plan. Should you be worried that the doctor was actually wrong and that you’re now involved in improper treatment?
According to one study, you absolutely should be. It claims that a full 88 percent of patients who go get a second opinion wind up with a diagnosis that is either brand new or at least refined from the original. This means they get a new or altered care plan. A mere 12 percent simply have the second medical professional back up the original diagnosis.
It is worth noting that the study looked at those who had decided to get a second opinion. These are individuals who had a reason to think one was needed, who were not convinced that the first one was accurate. In other words, the sample group is exclusively people who thought that one diagnosis was not enough — leaving out those who felt that the first was accurate — and they were simply right in most cases.
That being said, the study does show that doctors may not be correct as often as people assume. The study noted that going and getting a second opinion could help people put an end to useless, unnecessary treatments, and it could also connect them with lifesaving treatments more quickly.
Have you been forced to endure treatment that you never needed, or did your condition get worse after an improper diagnosis? If so, you may be able to seek financial compensation, especially if a second opinion exposes the original mistake.
Source: Science Daily, “The value of second opinions demonstrated in study,” April 04, 2017