For anyone, receiving a diagnosis can be a scary moment. Whether you’re well-versed in medical terminology or not, being told you have a serious medical condition can be daunting. So it’s natural to want to get a second opinion to ensure that the first diagnosis is correct.
But what about doctors themselves? When they receive a diagnosis, do they also seek out a second opinion?
Doctors and Second Opinions
Physicians know firsthand how common misdiagnoses are. In fact, most Americans will be misdiagnosed at least once in their lifetimes. Each year, one out of 10 patients who has cancer, an infection, or a major vascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, will be misdiagnosed.
These misdiagnoses can cause patients to undergo unnecessary treatment, be prescribed the wrong medication, or even miss out on life-saving treatment altogether. Not only do incorrect diagnoses jeopardize patients’ health, but they also waste billions of dollars in healthcare costs each year.
It’s likely that doctors have seen patients who’ve been misdiagnosed or who’ve received incorrect treatment plans. Armed with this knowledge, it’s likely that the majority of doctors would seek out a second opinion if they themselves received a potentially serious diagnosis.
Why Misdiagnoses Happen
There are a number of reasons why misdiagnoses happen. In some cases, patients may not give their doctors enough information to make an accurate diagnosis. In other cases, doctors may not have access to the patient’s full medical history or to certain test results.
Sometimes, the symptoms of one condition can resemble the symptoms of another condition. Conditions like Lyme disease, for example, can mimic the symptoms of other conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. This can make it difficult for doctors to make an accurate diagnosis, especially if they’re not familiar with the rarer condition.
Benefits of Second Opinions
There are a number of benefits to seeking out a second opinion, even when the person who has received a new diagnosis is a doctor themselves. These include:
- Changed or confirmed diagnoses: In some cases, a second opinion may confirm the original diagnosis. In other cases, it may lead to a potential diagnosis change.
- Improved treatment plans: A second opinion can also help doctors develop a more effective treatment plan and can sometimes even result in avoided, unnecessary procedures. This is especially important for those with complex medical conditions who may be considering multiple treatment options.
- Peace of mind: Finally, seeking out a second opinion can give doctors peace of mind. It can ease any anxiety or worries about the diagnosis.
How Doctors Get Second Opinions for Themselves
When doctors are the patients, the process of getting a second opinion will typically follow the same route as for any other patient.
An online second opinion from The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic is one way for doctors to get an expert second opinion. These online second opinions provide patients with access to some of the world’s leading specialists—with no travel time, red tape, or hassles.
Find Peace of Mind from The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic
Whether you’re a physician yourself or you want to move forward like a doctor would, getting a second opinion from The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re making the best decisions for your health.
It’s simple to get an online second opinion from The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic. Just register online to get started.