Smiley & Smiley, LLP

When to seek a second medical opinion

When you visit your doctor in New York, you probably trust that he or she has your best interests at heart, and that this professional will offer sound advice based on years of education and practice. Most of the time, there is little harm done in taking your physician at his or her word, but according to Fox News, about one in 20 Americans finds themselves subjected to medical diagnostic errors. At Smiley & Smiley LLP, we recognize how these medical errors may impact your life, and we have assisted numerous clients who were misdiagnosed, not diagnosed or otherwise subjected to medical errors at the hands of a physician.

Because mistakes do happen, and because doctors, too, are imperfect people, there are several situations where it may prove beneficial for you to obtain a second medical opinion. For example, every surgery offers some degree of risk, so if your doctor informs you that you need to go under the knife for a non-emergency procedure, it may prove wise to secure a second opinion. In many cases, alternative treatment methods are available that may be safer and less expensive in the long run.

You may also want to consult another physician if you are not feeling comfortable with a recommended treatment method, or if you fear your doctor was unable to give you enough time to clearly articulate your symptoms and concerns. Like most modern professionals, physicians often adhere to tight schedules, meaning they may only have a few minutes to devote to you when you come in for an office visit.

If you are concerned about the care you are receiving and you decide to pursue a second medical opinion, try and get it from a doctor who has no connection to the first. You do not, for example, want to consult another doctor at the same practice, or a different doctor within the same family. More information about health care and physician negligence is available on our website. 

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