The importance of seeking a second opinion
Does a second opinion make a difference? Every treatment has risks as well as benefits. The best treatment for you may be different from the best treatment for your friend or neighbour. We all have individual needs, and different things matter to each of us.
If you take part in deciding what treatment you have, you’re likely to recover more quickly than if you don’t take part in decisions. It is even more important to play an active role when doctors don’t know which treatment works best.
Doctors should base their treatment recommendations on what the research tells them. This is called practising evidence-based medicine. This is a good way to practise medicine because it means your doctor is using evidence from medical studies that have looked at what happens to many thousands of people with your condition. Evidence-based medicine lies at the core of an effective second opinion.
Key points to remember when choosing treatments and a second opinion
- Look into all your treatment options.
- Make sure you understand the risks and benefits of treatments.
- Make sure you understand how the risks and benefits will affect you personally.
- Make sure you have enough information to make a choice.
- Make sure you understand the risks and benefits of deciding not to have treatment – a second opinion plays a key role here.
- Ensure you have enough information to form the basis for obtaining a second opinion
You and your doctor should talk about your options for treatment and make a decision together about the best treatment for you. This is called shared decision-making. Whenever possible, you should work with your doctor to decide on the best treatment for you. Acuitus Medical are leading global providers of second opinion services for individuals and employers.