I know how hard it can be to get that FIRST opinion when you’re not feeling well. Perhaps you’re finally willing to accept that something is wrong and you need help. Or, maybe you’re so sick that you feel forced to ask for help as you simply can’t go on feeling that way. Or somewhere in between.

In any event, I know when I am willing to ask for help I really I want someone to get it right, explain it to me in a way I can understand it and fix it the FIRST time (or at least give me some hope that it can be fixed if I do some things to help myself).

We’re taught to listen to the doctor, to not question what they say, to trust their expertise. To be a good girl. To not rock the boat. To do what we’re told. It’s so easy to silence that little voice inside us – that gut feel, intuition, knowing – that says that something isn’t working for you when you want help so badly.

I know – I’ve done it more times than I can count. I’m ashamed to say I still do it – though I catch myself quicker these days. But not always.

When I had the willingness to keep my appointment for a second opinion after last week’s adventure with the hand surgeon, the benefits couldn’t be measured til afterwards. Why? Because I couldn’t know what a good fit the second doctor would be for me til – obviously – after I had met with him.

I learned so much, not only about my own health situation, but also about what helps me know I have the right healthcare provider. This healthcare provider:

Gathers Specific Information: She asks specific questions like this: “I hear you have numbness in both hands. When you have numbness in your hands, where is it? Does it wake you up at night? On the average, how many times?” She listens to my answers and asks detailed follow up questions.

  • Explains Recommendations Thoroughly: She explains EVERY test that she is requesting and answers all my questions. She doesn’t order tests without telling me why.
  • Makes Referrals to Competent Providers: She works with other providers who are also responsive to my needs, schedule things promptly and ask pointed, specific questions while listen carefully to my responses.
  • Gives Detailed Follow Up Instructions: She asks to be contacted as soon as the follow up tests are scheduled to get me back in the office to go over them.
  • Has a Support Staff That Makes Things Happen Quickly: Her staff goes the extra mile by getting me in on a cancellation as I requested and also making sure the doctor has the test results before I arrive at my follow up appointment.

NONE of these things happened with the first surgeon. And I had that gut feel that things weren’t right – though I didn’t want to admit it to myself because, understandably, I really wanted the first hand surgeon to offer me what I wanted.

I didn’t know the difference between a responsive hand surgeon and one who wasn’t until I had something to compare it to. And, I had to be willing to trust my gut that something was off. Thank God I was willing to do that.

Having said all this, people vary. What’s the right provider for me may not be what’s right for you. And your opinion is the only one that counts when it comes to getting your healthcare needs met.

If you’re struggling with something that is overwhelming and hard for you, it’s understandable if you’re frustrated, sad, angry, numb, shocked or anything in between. Permission granted to feel whatever you’re feeling . . . . and also there’s help.

There’s more than one way to deal with what’s hurting; in fact, there’s so many that that can be overwhelming in and of itself especially when you’re not feeling well.

If you choose to see a healthcare provider, go to your appointment prepared and trust your gut feeling on whether you’ve got someone who can really help you.

Here’s the most important take away for you today:

Remember . . . . though you may be in the role of a “patient”, you’re not damaged goods. You have some issues that you need help with. You’re a healthcare consumer and making a purchase for your most important client – yourse
lf.

Get more than one opinion if you have any doubt about the first one. And keep looking for help until you find the healthcare provider that’s right for you. For every provider that is inattentive, I believe there is another provider who practices with integrity and professionalism.

2 Responses to “Why It’s Important To Get A Second Opinion”

  1. katherine Says:

    A person’s health is too important for them to not get a second opinion. Statistics show that thousands of people get injured or even die a year due to medical errors. A second opinion can possibly help reduce the risk of being affected by one of those errors. Services such as https://secondopinions.com provide second opinions for MRIs, CTs, X-Rays and other studies. When I needed a second opinion, Secondopinions.com provided a reasonably priced service to me that helped keep me from becoming a statistic. They also gave me a coupon code to share “sy15″ to take 15% off your entire order which should still work.

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