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5 reasons why you might need a second medical opinion

Everyone makes mistakes and doctors are no exception. Human error aside, doctors also have different styles – with some taking a more conservative approach and others a more aggressive one. These are just a couple of reasons why doctors’ diagnoses and recommendations can vary significantly, and why more patients are seeking second medical opinions. This Pacific Prime Latin America article highlights five reasons for a second medical opinion.

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What is a second medical opinion?

A second medical opinion is when a doctor who is not your treating physician either confirms or questions the initial doctor’s diagnosis, treatment plan, or both. They may offer more information about the condition or provide an alternative diagnosis and/or treatment option. A second medical opinion is usually given by a medical professional who is an expert in a specific field of medicine. Similarly, some patients will want a second medical opinion from medical professionals who are overseas.

Whether your doctor has made a cancer diagnosis or recommends surgery, getting a second opinion has many benefits, including diagnosis confirmation and peace of mind. A second medical opinion that confirms the original diagnosis is still beneficial since it ensures you have the right diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. It can also give insight into additional treatment options that you were not aware of.

Consequently, a second medical opinion allows you to be informed about your options and helps you make an educated decision about your healthcare and treatment plan.

Five reasons for a 2nd medical opinion

Even though you don’t need a reason for a second medical opinion, there are situations when a second opinion is highly recommended. It’s important to note that the second medical opinion is not automatically the correct one. Additionally, a third medical opinion might be necessary if the first two doctors completely disagree. The goal is to get to a point where the diagnosis and treatment plan seems logical to you.

With that said, here are the top five reasons for a 2nd medical opinion.

1. If your symptoms persist after treatment

You know best when it comes to your body. If your symptoms continue after treatment, it may be a good idea to seek another medical opinion. Many people assume that they need to live with discomfort or chronic pain instead of ensuring they get the right diagnosis. Don’t settle if you don’t feel better after treatment.

2. If you’re diagnosed with a rare disease

Some diseases are so rare that there isn’t much research available. It can be upsetting to find out you have been diagnosed with such a rare condition. However, know that you’re not alone. Approximately 400 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with a rare disease. On top of that, there are over 7,000 rare diseases and more are discovered every year. Since information surrounding rare diseases and disorders is limited, it is essential to do your research.

3. If you’re diagnosed with cancer

When you’re diagnosed with a condition as serious as cancer, a second medical opinion makes sense. A cancer diagnosis isn’t just overwhelming and confusing, but it also changes your life. That’s why it’s crucial to find out as much as possible about your prognosis and the treatment options that are available. Remember that there isn’t a single doctor who knows every piece of information from all the research that has ever been conducted.

Second, third, or however many opinions increase your chances of getting the best treatment plan possible. In addition, some insurers require a second medical opinion for a cancer diagnosis.

4. If the recommended treatment is invasive or risky

It’s never a good idea to agree to surgeries and other invasive procedures without looking at your options first. Still, some people agree to anything their doctor suggests. But you have the right to decide what treatments you agree to. After all, it’s your body and your life. It’s advisable to get a second medical opinion if your doctor recommends surgery or something just as serious, and to be proactive about your health in general.

5. If something doesn’t feel right

Always get a second medical opinion if your gut is telling you something is off. Whether you’re uncomfortable with the diagnosis or recommended treatment, you don’t have to agree to something that doesn’t feel right. Listen to your intuition and find out more before moving ahead. Speak to other doctors, talk to other people, ask more questions, and do more research. Healthcare decisions very rarely have to be made right away, so take your time and get a second medical opinion.

Take an active role in your health

Asking for a second medical opinion doesn’t mean you are being difficult, are in denial, or any other concern that might come to mind. You’re being smart and taking an active role in your health, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, most doctors expect you to get second opinions, and many even encourage it. Let your doctor know that you’re going to get some more information and if there’s any resistance to that, perhaps it’s time to change doctors.

Put your health first with Pacific Prime Latin America

What better way to be proactive about your healthcare than to have health insurance? Whether you’re looking for health insurance in Latin America or global health insurance, Pacific Prime Latin America is your go-to insurance broker. We compare health insurance plans in Mexico to ensure you get the best health insurance for expats in Mexico, and a plan that is suited to your needs and budget. Contact us for impartial advice or a free plan comparison and quote today.

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Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime Latin America
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs