Should you get a second medical opinion?

When you go to the doctor, you rely on his or her medical expertise to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment, and most patients don’t feel comfortable second-guessing a physician.

Unfortunately, medical mistakes do happen, and they happen more often than you might think. In fact, studies have shown that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In many cases, doctors make the wrong diagnosis, ignore problems or fail to do proper testing.

Depending on the circumstances, a second opinion could help you get the treatment you need.

While you may not feel comfortable questioning your doctor’s judgment, there are times when getting a second opinion can be the right thing to do. The second opinion may confirm that your first doctor was correct, giving you the peace of mind you need. Or, the second opinion could put your treatment on the right course before you lose vital time or undergo the wrong treatment.

Listen to your instincts.

Maybe you feel something is wrong without quite being able to put your finger on it. However, you don’t need to have an extensive medical education to know your body and its normal state of being. If you sense that your doctor’s diagnosis — or lack of one — just isn’t right, consider consulting another physician.

A doctor who doesn’t listen risks making mistakes.

It’s also important not to ignore red flags if you notice your doctor is not really listening to you. Danger signs include interrupting you, ignoring you or insisting your symptoms are in your mind. A doctor who acts dismissively of patients’ concerns runs a very real risk of failing to get essential information.

If you are harmed by medical malpractice, you have legal options.

Harmful medical mistakes include misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical errors and medication errors, among others.

If you suffered due to medical malpractice, it’s important to be aware of your legal options. You may be able to recover damages for financial losses, including treatment costs and inability to work. You may also recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, although Missouri law imposes a cap on these types of damages in medical malpractice cases.

To learn more, please see Hullverson Law Firm‘s overview of medical malpractice claims.