When Should I Get a Second Opinion for a Medical Diagnosis? By Foley Law Firm on September 06, 2023

Doctor speaking with patient

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious condition or have side effects that persist after medical treatment, you may want a second opinion. There are many good reasons to consider getting a second opinion even if you trust your doctor. 

Our Scranton and Stroudsburg, PA, medical malpractice lawyers help clients with incorrect or delayed diagnoses. We want to review some common reasons to get another doctor’s opinion and some related information that could help you prevent some serious medical woes.

Reasons to Seek a Second Opinion

Below are five really good reasons you should consider seeking a second opinion.

1. Your Symptoms Seem Too Serious for the Initial Diagnosis

Sometimes a doctor will diagnose a far less serious condition than your current symptoms suggest. If you’ve got a gut feeling that your doctor got the diagnosis wrong, listen to your gut and get a second opinion just to be safe.

2. Your Symptoms Persist Despite Treatment Recommendations

Say you went through your doctor’s recommended treatment for your condition and yet you still have symptoms. Maybe your symptoms have gotten worse. If that is the case, you’ll want a second opinion to determine the root cause or causes of your health problem.

3. Your Doctor Recommends Surgery or an Experimental Treatment

If you’ve been told that the only viable treatment for your problem involves surgery or some experimental therapy, you’ll want to get a second opinion. These more invasive or experimental procedures carry many risks and potential complications you may want to avoid.

4. You’ve Been Diagnosed With a Rare Illness or Condition

Sometimes doctors mistake common health issues with rare diseases. If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness that only affects a small percentage of the population, you’ll want to get a second opinion just to make sure.

5. You’ve Been Diagnosed With Cancer

Cancer diagnoses are earth-shaking. Get a second opinion from a trusted oncologist just to make sure that you do in fact have cancer and can initiate the treatment process with certainty.

The Best Time to Seek a Second Opinion

Generally speaking, the sooner you seek a second opinion, the better. This allows your condition to get properly diagnosed and treated, which could make all the difference.

How to Get a Second Opinion

In terms of getting a second opinion, here’s what we recommend.

  1. Tell Your Doctor - Many doctors are open to the idea of second opinions. Let your doctor know that you’d like to get one and they may be receptive and helpful in the process.
  2. Ask Your Physician or a Colleague for a Recommendation - Your doctor may recommend a medical specialist you can see. If that is not the case, you can ask friends or colleagues for recommendations.
  3. Weigh Each Opinion Accordingly - After getting your second opinion, be sure to weigh each carefully as you decide which treatment option to move forward with.

Second Opinions and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

If you get a second opinion well after the initial diagnosis, it could be used as evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our law firm may even recommend that a client seek a second opinion as part of building a case if they have not done so already.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Worried you received a misdiagnosis? The medical malpractice attorneys at the Foley Law Firm are ready to help. They can also recommend ways of seeking a second opinion if you have yet to seek one out. To set up a case review at our Scranton or Stroudsburg office, contact our skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers.

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The attorneys of the Foley Law Firm provide committed personal injury representation to eastern Pennsylvania. Our firm is proud to be affiliated with prominent organizations, including:

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