There is no question that physicians and other medical staff provide a great service to residents of the greater Toronto area. Each day they help patients feel better and sometimes even save their lives. There are however times when the treatment provided does not love up to what it expected. One of these situations is when someone is misdiagnosed.
While it is fair to say that in many situations the expertise of a medical professional should be trusted, some experts believe there are situations when patients should not be afraid of getting a second opinion. In this post we will lay out scenarios in which this approach could make sense.
The first situation is when the treatment your physician is recommending is experimental. Similarly, getting a second opinion is advisable when there are multiple treatment options available and you are unsure which the best to go with is, or if the treatment recommended by your physician is chronic, considered especially difficult or invasive. When surgery is necessary it is also a good idea to seek a second opinion.
If a second opinion leads to another diagnosis, you may need to go to a third health care provider to help sort out the best course of action.
Readers may be surprised to learn that misdiagnoses are fairly common. Several years ago a study of 6,000 cancer patients by John Hopkins determined that out of every 100 patients who opted to get a second opinion following a tumor biopsy, one or two of them found that the initial diagnosis was incorrect.
While it is of course important that doctors get their diagnoses right the first time it does not always happen and at the end of the day most would agree that the most important thing is that you get the treatment you need. If, however, negligence played a role in your misdiagnosis a medical malpractice lawsuit could be appropriate. A lawyer can help determine the best way to proceed.
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