When Should You Seek a Second Medical Opinion?
There’s no doubt about it: The trust between doctors and patients has been slowly eroding for the last decade. Where patients once looked to family doctors as the ultimate resource for medical knowledge, now we can instantly read accurate healthcare information on sites like WebMD, or schedule a quick appointment with another healthcare provider if we disagree with a doctor’s opinion.
Although many see the eroding trust between patients and doctors as a problem, there are some positive benefits to this shift, especially for the victims of medical malpractice. At Brown & Barron, LLC, we believe that most medical professionals have good intentions and a wealth of valuable experience. However, when a doctor fails to properly diagnose your condition or take your concerns seriously, you have the right to seek a second opinion and get the healthcare you need.
When Should I Seek A Second Opinion?
As pharmaceutical corporations like Purdue Pharma continue to be exposed for their role in causing the opioid epidemic, it has also become clear that doctors were complicit in that negligence, often prescribing painkillers based on profit rather than the patient’s needs. Recent research from John Hopkins University also shows that medical error is the third leading cause of death in America, across all demographics.
All this means that it’s completely rational to be wary about a major diagnosis, particularly if the prescribed treatment involves using an addictive drug like OxyContin or Vicodin. Although doctors have become more careful about giving patients opioids due to the ongoing crisis, there are still many scenarios in which you could need a second opinion.
Here are a few of the signs that you may want another doctor’s advice on your condition:
- Your doctor always seems too rushed, tired, or busy to answer your questions.
- Explanations about important test results are confusing – or withheld altogether.
- Your doctor keeps interrupting you and dismissing your concerns.
- Your physician’s ratings on online tools like ProPublica’s Vital Signs or Healthgrades.com are very low.
- You don’t feel comfortable or safe around your physician.
- The waiting room or exam area always looks dirty and disorderly.
If several of these signs apply to your situation, it could be time for a second opinion. Under the law, you are never required to consent to a specific medical treatment, and any doctor who tells you otherwise could have hidden intentions. In cases like these, getting a second opinion may not only set your mind at rest – it could save your life, or the life of your loved one.
Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers are passionate about helping those who have been hurt by medical errors or a doctor’s negligence. Call us at (410) 698-1717 for a free consultation!