Most people who live in California have been raised to respect doctors and trust in the advice they receive from physicians. This is understandable and certainly health care professionals deserve respect but patients also should remember that they deserve to have the chance to advocate for themselves. In addition, doctors are people which means they are prone to making mistakes. This highlights the importance of seeking a second medical opinion in some cases.

According to Verywell Health, a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that 21% of patients who sought second opinions were given completely different diagnoses by the second doctors that what they received from the first doctors. With more than one in five people being incorrectly diagnosed, it is easy to see why getting additional information is important.

The American Cancer Society explains that some patients may feel uneasy about seeking a second medical opinion for fear of upsetting or offending the original physician. However, they insist that reputable doctors today not only accept this choice but welcome and even encourage it. By discussing these plans with the original doctor, a patient may have a better chance of collecting all records to share with the new doctor. A complete medical history may help a second physician provide the most accurate opinion.

Situations that warrant a second opinion may be those in which a diagnosis is very serious, such as cancer or another terminal condition. When a proposed treatment is highly invasive or risky, the input of another physician may be important before proceeding.