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How to seek a second medical opinion

Health can be somewhat paradoxical. When you feel well, you likely do not think much about it. If you experience pain, though, your health can be impossible to ignore. While you may trust your doctor to provide effective care, sometimes, you need someone else to provide an opinion. 

For a variety of reasons, you may want to seek a second medical opinion. Perhaps you are uncomfortable with your diagnosis or treatment plan. Or, maybe you do not feel any better after following your doctor’s orders. Regardless of your rationale, you need to know how to obtain a successful re-evaluation of your health matter. Here are four tips for seeking an opinion from a different doctor: 

1. Check insurance coverage 

Doctor visits can be expensive. Therefore, before seeking a second opinion, you likely want to be certain your insurance plan covers it. Your provider may also have a list of doctors from which you must choose. With a bit of research, you may be able to avoid paying out-of-pocket costs for seeing a different physician. 

2. Find the right doctor 

While your primary care physician is likely capable of treating different medical conditions, he or she may lack the expertise needed to take care of you. Still, your doctor may be able to shed some valuable light on the type of physician you should see. Therefore, talk to your primary healthcare provider about your concerns and ask for a referral. 

3. Request medical records 

You do not want a new doctor to have to start from scratch when diagnosing or treating you. Instead, you want a subsequent physician to have as much information as possible. Therefore, ask your primary provider to forward a copy of your medical records to the new physician before your appointment. 

4. Discuss your concerns 

When seeking a second medical opinion, you likely have some concerns you want to address. When asking a different doctor to provide input, you do not want to be shy. Rather, you should tell the doctor why you think a second opinion is necessary. Also, try to discuss all your medical concerns to get the most out of your appointment. 

Your second medical opinion may either confirm or dispute the first. Still, for peace of mind and your overall health, asking someone to take a second look at your situation probably makes sense. With a bit of effort, you can boost your chances of receiving both a correct diagnosis and adequate treatment for your injury or illness.

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