Guide to Seeking a Second Opinion

Doctor Reninger With Patient

 

Is it OK to Seek a Second Opinion? Yes.

Many people who are diagnosed with cancer proceed right to treatment without seeking a second opinion. Sometimes it is because they are afraid they will offend their doctor. Sometimes it is because they are concerned about waiting to start a treatment program.

Is it OK to seek a second opinion? It is. In fact, doctors commonly expect patients to want a second opinion. For certain conditions, some insurance companies may require it.

What are some reasons to seek a second opinion?

  • To confirm your diagnosis and treatment options
  • To receive the opinion of a doctor who specializes in your type of cancer
  • To hear another doctor’s perspective on your condition

Before starting a treatment program, you may also wish to seek a second opinion to ensure you choose a treating doctor whose communication style best suits your needs and expectations.

At Hematology and Oncology Consultants of Pennsylvania, we encourage patients to seek all the information they need to be confident and comfortable with their health care decisions. We may recommend that you seek a second opinion and help facilitate arrangements if we believe it will be in your best interest. With a personal and compassionate approach, our goal is to ensure you receive the best care possible so you can live the best life possible.

 

How to Seek a Second Opinion

Start by having a conversation with your doctor. Let your doctor know that you respect his or her opinion, but you would like to seek a second opinion to help you make the best decision for your health. Your doctor may suggest other doctors who specialize in your particular disease. You can also research other doctors yourself.

As a member of the Medical Group of Pennsylvania, an association of independent medical practices, Hematology and Oncology Consultants of Pennsylvania encourages you to visit medgrouppa.com to search for a doctor to provide a second opinion.

When visiting a doctor for a second opinion, be prepared with the following information:

  • Medical records from the doctor who diagnosed you
  • A copy of your pathology report from biopsies or surgery
  • A copy of your operative report if you had surgery
  • A copy of your discharge summary if you were in the hospital
  • A summary of your current doctor’s treatment plan
  • A list of all your prescription drugs, doses and how you take them

Additionally, consider taking another person with you to your appointment to help you remember the details of your discussion.

Finally, don’t be shy about asking questions. It’s your health and you deserve all the answers you need in order to have peace of mind.