doctor and stethoscope

Getting Second Opinions From Doctors

If you receive a scary diagnosis from your doctor that you have a serious health condition like cancer or multiple sclerosis — it’s very difficult to keep a level head. As you process the diagnosis and begin to think about what it will mean for your life, you’re probably thinking about the research you’ll need to do to understand everything about the condition, options for treatment and how you’ll move forward to fight the illness, and how to live life as normally as possible.

A diagnosis of a serious condition can be overwhelming — that’s why we recommend seeking a second opinion to provide you with certainty, well-rounded information and the peace and presence of mind to move forward with your treatment plan. Here’s what you need to know about medical second opinions.

Why Get a Second Opinion From a Doctor?

A serious medical diagnosis can be difficult to process and daunting to face — that’s why asking for a second opinion can give a fuller understanding of your condition and determine the best available treatment. Here’s how seeking a second opinion can help:

  • Eliminates “what-ifs” by giving you a full range of facts to compare
  • Gives you reinforcement and confidence that you’ve been accurately diagnosed because doctors’ opinions can differ
  • Helps you understand the full range of treatment options and alternative options available since doctors may recommend different treatments
  • May help further understand the genetic causes behind your condition

Will My Doctor Be Insulted By Me Seeking a Second Opinion?

Patients seeking a second opinion often worry about whether it’s in bad taste or their doctors will be upset that they’ve chosen to search elsewhere for reinforcement on the specifics of their condition. Don’t worry — your doctor won’t take offense to you making this move.

Just start an open conversation with your doctor explaining why you might like to seek a second opinion and asking if there’s anyone they can recommend. In fact, a second opinion is helpful for you to come to terms with your condition. Since this makes you well-informed, it gives you the time you need to mentally prepare for pursuing treatment options.

Tips on Getting Second Opinions for Patients

When you’re getting ready for your second opinion consultation, make sure to prepare in the following ways:

  • Write down questions and facts at the first appointment, and bring them to the second appointment to compare. Write down all the information from the second appointment to review on your own later.
  • Check your insurance policy to see whether another consultation is covered.
  • Bring any relevant x-rays, diagnoses, and paperwork — including potential treatment plans — to review with the second doctor.
  • Bring a loved one along for support. They may also serve as a second set of ears, whereby both of you can discuss the appointment afterward.

Schedule a Follow-Up With Gettysburg Cancer Center

When you’re satisfied with your second opinion from a doctor and ready to tackle treatment, Gettysburg Cancer Center is here to welcome you with open arms. Our compassionate, expert care will provide you with the professional treatment and homelike environment you need to feel comfortable and confident. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.