How To Ask For A Second Opinion

How To Ask For A Second Opinion

Asking your doctor for a second opinion can be really very stressful and we understand that. You are hesitant because you are afraid of being seen as challenging their talent and authority and perhaps of the potential backlash for doing so. Luckily, that kind of approach to medicine is changing in today's time and people are becoming much more comfortable with taking control of their healthcare.

Why Second Opinion Imperative?

Not getting a second opinion for your health condition can potentially lead to a wrong diagnosis. Moreover, it can lead to an effective or harmful treatment. A 2004 study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has shown that around 9,000 to 24,000 hospital patients die each and every year from preventable adverse events caused by the healthcare they receive. You heard it right, it is not the disease but the treatment. Doctors should respect a patient's reasonable request for a second opinion from any physician of the patient's choice.

When Should You Go For a Second Opinion?

Focus on the serious or chronic conditions and don't question each and every diagnosis and treatment. More importantly, follow your instincts if your body is telling you to do one thing and your doctor another. Below mentioned are some situations when you may actually go for a second opinion:

  • You are unsure about the diagnosis and want to confirm it.

  • You do not know how well a treatment is going to work in your case.

  • You are concerned about the potential outcomes including impact on your family and close ones.

  • The treatment is risky or experimental and you don't want to risk your life.

  • You would like to explore other options and go for the most feasible and cost effective one.

Now the main question that arises is, how to ask for second opinion neurosurgery.

How Do You Ask for A Second Opinion?

In most of the cases, your doctor will genuinely respect your wish for a second opinion and will also be able to help you find another physician to consult. You will have to expound your doctor that you want to be completely informed and assured about your diagnosis, prognosis as well as available treatment options and hence, you would like a second opinion.

  • Ask your doctor to recommend someone else from their knowledge who is a specialist in neurology.

  • If you have any specific doctor in mind then ask for a referral to them and visit them.

  • If the second opinion matches the first one then you can now be totally confident with the diagnosis and go ahead.

  • If his opinion does not match then seek to understand why before you actually make a decision one way or another.

If you are feeling uncomfortable asking your doctor about getting a second opinion, then don't worry because you’re not alone. Every day, many patients feel this way but still ask for it as it's their right. You might be afraid of offending the doctor and possibly damaging a good relationship with them that has just started taking shape. You might be thinking that this is the person in the best position to help you in that very moment of crisis. And so it is no wonder that you might be nervous about asking to consult someone else and getting a second opinion. But try to remember that doctors are usually used to having patients get second opinions and in a lot of cases, welcome the information second opinions provide.

You might find the following ideas helpful to frame your request in these or similar terms to your doctor.

  • Doctor, I totally trust you and appreciate your help so far. But this is all so new to me and I really feel that a second opinion could help me get satisfied from within and move ahead with the treatment.

  • Doctor, I actually want to go into treatment with some reassurance that my pathology report is correct. Also, I have explored all treatment options and so, I would like to get a second opinion before moving ahead with this.

  • I genuinely respect your opinion, but I never really make any major decision without talking to more than one expert and since this is about life, I feel like I have one chance to get this right. I think I really need the reassurance of a second opinion and then proceed.

  • I owe it to myself and my family to make sure that all of my bases are covered and so I would like to get a second opinion on everything that we have discussed so far.


We hope that this article was useful to you and in case you need any help regarding your second opinion, Doctor Click Away is literally just a click away from helping you.