Seeking a Second Opinion
Whenever you have a serious diagnosis such as cancer, and even when you don’t, you might feel embarrassed to seek a second opinion, as if you're somehow unfairly judging your doctor as incompetent. Don't talk yourself into feeling that way. As a cardiologist who deals with life and death health conditions, I want my patients to be as informed as possible about their situation. If my patients seek a second opinion, I am not offended. In fact, I encourage my patients to share what they learn from other physicians they consult because we all have the same goal: better health for the patient. In fact, in many of the best hospitals in the country, doctors work in teams for this very purpose. Patients benefit from this collaborative approach (and so do we doctors).
Different physicians may have different approaches to the same situation. This doesn’t mean one doctor is right and one is wrong (although of course, doctors can make mistakes). It just means medicine is a human science. Patients don't come with a list of printed instructions, and depending on the condition or illness, a range of treatment options may be available. It’s important for patients to fully understand their options and choose the course of treatment they are most comfortable with. Your doctor will understand this. If not, it's the doctor's problem, not yours. Go ahead and seek a second or even third or fourth opinion. Leave no stone unturned in your quest to achieve optimal health.