Posted by Bill Sandweg on 31 August 2015.
From time to time I have suggested a second opinion as one way of being an informed consumer of medical services and avoiding medical malpractice. A recent story in the Wall Street Journal provides more support for the proposition. The author points out that there are an increasing number of on line services which offer second opinions. Some of these services are affiliated with well-recognized medical centers with excellent reputations. The practice of getting a second opinion and the services devoted to providing one appear to be growing.
A recent study discussed in the Journal article examined the outcome of almost seven thousand requests for a second opinion and found that there were changes of diagnosis in over 14% of the cases and changes in treatment in over 37% of the cases. These are significant results. At least partly because of studies like this, many insurers are requiring second opinions before certain types of surgery. Second opinions are most valuable in situations involving elective procedures, when the diagnosis is unclear, the condition rare, or when there are different ways to approach the medical problem at issue.
As always, the better informed you are, the better your chances of getting the medical care you deserve. Use the resources available to you on line and ask questions. Good luck.