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Doctors are also humans and therefore it is perfectly normal to expect them to make mistakes however it could be a matter of life and death for you and your loved ones. This becomes even more critical when personal biases and interests are involved and the influence that the pharmaceutical industry has on the medical fraternity is no secret. Moreover not necessarily the best expert for a specific ailment resides in your city.

For this reason, more and more patients are going for a second opinion after a diagnosis. There are multiple benefits from the same, including everything from the peace of mind and confirmation, to a new diagnosis or a different treatment plan. This benefit is further enhanced if the same can be obtained from the comfort of your home - especially so for the senior citizens who find the commute a challenging proposition.

Ask4healthcare.com is one such platform where you can get all your medical queries answered and even go for a second opinion from an experienced panel of consultants from reputed institutes such as Amrita, AIIMS or AFMC.

Even if your second opinion just confirms what you already know, it can still be beneficial. As it can offer insight into additional treatment options that the first doctor may not have mentioned. As a result, you become more informed about what is available to you and can make a more informed decision.

Are Second Opinions Really Effective?

A study conducted by Mayo Clinic found that as many as 88 percent of patients looking for a second opinion will come across a new or refined diagnosis. Meanwhile, 21 percent of the people will leave with a “distinctly different” diagnosis. The study, which was published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, discovered that only 12 percent of patients leave with the same diagnosis. This means that one out of every five patients they saw was incorrectly diagnosed.

An analysis of the factors that motivated people to get second opinions showed reasons like getting confirmation of their diagnosis, being dissatisfied with a consultation, wanting more information, and dealing with persistent symptoms as some of the common reasons.

A study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Institute concluded that medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States. In their study, they estimated that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, making errors the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. If that is the situation in the US, we can only imagine what would be the situation for India.

When Should You Look at Getting a Second Opinion?

Get a second opinion if you have undergone treatment but your problems continue. Sometimes ignoring a chronic pain or a persistent cough or even a persistent slight fever as well turns out to be a serious ailment. It's best to consult a different doctor if your treating doctor has not been able to address the issue.

A second opinion is always recommended if you are diagnosed with a rare disease.

Most doctors are busy treating patients with common ailments and if your disease has an occurrence of 1 in 10000 or a million, what are the chances that your doctor would be well versed with treating that disease. However many times there are always specialised centres working at figuring at handling those diseases where they might also be conducting some pathbreaking clinical research which might be a life-changing decision for you.

Always Get a second opinion if the recommended treatment is risky, involves surgery, or has lifelong consequences.

In many cases new non-surgical/ laser techniques are being introduced and your treating doctor or centre might not have access to those facilities. All things being equal a surgery always comes with added risks of infections & complications post-surgery which are best avoided. Sometimes even starting on a course of heavy medications leads to multiple complications later on in life.

It is definitely recommended in case you have been diagnosed with cancer. The good news is that now you can seek an opinion from not only the best doctors in India - but from US's no 1 Ranked Hospital - Mayo Clinic (US News Report 2018-2019), sitting in India - For more details visit : Ask4Healthcare

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