While it is wise to listen to your doctor, do not forget that you have the final say in your treatment. In some cases, doctors misdiagnose a patient. If you have a potentially deadly disease, you want your doctor to assess your condition correctly.
If you wish to confirm your diagnosis, the AARP suggests getting a second opinion might be to your benefit. There are a couple of reasons why this could be the case.
Your initial diagnosis may change
If you suspect you could have a different illness or condition, you may not be wrong. The AARP article cites a Mayo Clinic study that discovered 20% of patients who received a second opinion actually ended up with a different diagnosis of their condition.
Even if your second doctor does not diagnose you with another condition, a second opinion could still give you the additional information that you need. The Mayo Clinic study found that in 66% of second opinion cases, doctors would redefine or refine the first diagnosis.
You might need a specialist
Part of the reason another physician may change your initial diagnosis is that your first doctor did not recognize some aspects of your condition. This is why the opinion of a specialist could be a better option. Specialists are generally alert for signs and symptoms that indicate an uncommon illness or condition.
Going to a second doctor should not make you feel guilty even if you have a long relationship with your current doctor. It may help to put emotions aside and be direct with your doctor about your concerns. In fact, your first doctor might recommend a specialist to you and provide other help to shed more light on your condition.