The last thing on her mind should be a brain tumor
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I'm Afraid to Ask for a Second Opinion

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Friday, October 24, 2008

You wouldn't believe how many times I hear my patients say they are afraid to tell their doctor they want a second opinion for fear of making them mad. Really, quite frankly I always have the same response...they will get over it. They can get glad in the same pants they got mad....that is something my Grandma always used to say. But really it is the truth, they will get over it.

Why doctors get mad about this is really far beyond me, maybe it is just above my pay grade to understand. But it really makes no sense whatsoever. You need to make sure that you are making the best decision for you and your loved one. How can you be certain you are doing that when you haven't gotten even a second opinion? I have always said I want a consensus of opinion regarding which direction I should go, which treatment I should receive, whether I should have surgery or not. I want a bunch of specialists saying this is what I believe you should do....period.

Unfortunately, many times patients do not have health insurance and your options for second opinons are fairly limited or nonexistant. There are places you can go to get a second opinon depending on your situation. For example, if you have a brain tumor and you have no health insurance you can be seen at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and they will give you their opinion for free. And, if you qualify for a study they are sponsoring you can receive treatment, surgery, etc for free.

Doctors cannot know about every latest research advance, treatment option or new diagnostic procedure available. It is literally impossible for them to keep up on everything. But, if you are talking to several different physicians for opinions they will have a broader knowledge base than simply one physician by themselves. Statistically it just increase your chances.

I promise you that doctors get second opinions when it comes to their own health care. And, so should you!!!
Posted by Nancy Thomason

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