When California patients should seek a second opinion

Patients should know the circumstances under which they are better off seeking a second medical opinion for peace of mind.

Patients trust their doctors to take good care of them, but sometimes, California patients grow uneasy about their doctor's diagnosis. Under such circumstances, it is a good idea to seek out a second opinion, just to be on the safe side and to avoid unnecessary medical bills and worry. Knowing when to get another physician's opinion about a diagnosis could prevent a medical malpractice case and make for better-informed patients.

A serious surgery is recommended

Being told you need a serious, toxic or lifelong surgery could lead to no end of worry, not only for your health, but for your finances as well. Even if you have been with your doctor for several years and trust her or his opinion, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get a second opinion and exploring your options before going under the knife. Even if the second opinion is the same as the first, it can also help to settle your rattled nerves.

The diagnosis does not sit well with you

Part of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose. No one knows your body better than you, and if you feel your primary physician might be remiss with a diagnosis, getting a second opinion is a good idea. That second opinion can better inform you of your medical options as well as your medical rights. There is also the fact that doctors make mistakes just like anyone else.

You do not have a good relationship with your doctor

If you have recently changed doctors, you might feel that your new one does not listen to you very well. This lack of communication can lead to your doctor making a faulty diagnosis due to not receiving vital information related to your medical history, symptoms or general concerns. Under such circumstances, you would be perfectly justified in seeking out a second opinion from a doctor who will sit and listen to you without interrupting or without being constantly interrupted by the phone, staff and the like.

You are required to by your insurance provider

There are also situations in which your medical insurance provider might require that you receive a second opinion before your coverage kicks in. Such a requirement might reveal a difference of opinion and treatment.

Just like anyone else in any other profession, doctors in California and elsewhere make mistakes. That being said, a doctor's mistake can come with grave consequences. If you feel you were misdiagnosed or have a medical malpractice case on your hands, reach out to an attorney to decide on your next best step and to know your legal rights.