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Second Opinions

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A second opinion is the request for an expert to provide an opinion about a diagnosis, treatment or other medical suggestion when you already have an expert opinion.

A second opinion can come from an expert with the same expertise or an expert with a different expertise.

Thanks to modern communication, an expert to give a second opinion doesn't have to be local.

If you feel as if you want a second opinion, ask for one. Long term survivors suggest getting a second opinion whenever anything major happens - even if the news is unexpectedly good. Long term survivors even suggest getting a second opinion when the doctor's advice doesn't feel right.

Insurance generally covers second and even third opinions. If you're uninsured, you may be able to get one for free or for a low cost.

NOTE: Fear of offending a doctor is the number one reason most people don't seek a second opinion. Competent doctors recognize that medicine involves instinct and opinion as well as scientific fact and that doctors can reasonably disagree based on the same set of facts. Also, another doctor may notice a fact that the first doctor missed. Good doctors will not feel offended or threatened by a patient seeking a second opinion - especially when the patient has a serious health condition.

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Second Opinion 101

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