Why spend the time and expense to get a second opinion if your doctor recommends surgery or they diagnose a serious disease? After all, you’ve been examined, tested and evaluated by an expert with many years of training.
A medical second opinion can increase the chances that you get the correct treatment from the start, saving money, distress and maybe your life. Seeing the right specialist or subspecialist can make all the difference. “We know that if a patient with sarcoma is seen at a sarcoma center, their survival is longer,” says Kristen Ganjoo, a medical oncologist who teaches at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.What is a second opinion, and why is it valuable to you? Second opinions — whether to review a surgery recommendation or a cancer diagnosis — typically require a step-by-step reexamination of a patient’s case.
Next, Ganjoo determines whether the patient needs more tests, such as a scan or an assessment of a tissue sample for genetic mutations. But second opinions aren’t only about coming to the correct diagnosis. They can be about “what’s the best possible treatment for this particular patient at this point in their life,” says Caitlin Donovan, a senior director at the nonprofit Patient Advocate Foundation, which works to educate and empower health care consumers. headtopics.com
Also see: What’s a really big, unexpected cost that can drain your retirement budget? It’s in your mouth. Some major medical centers offer a second opinion service at a fixed price. A virtual second opinion at the Cleveland Clinic costs $1,850. Stanford Medicine charges $700 for an online second opinion. The package of services provided — and the medical staff’s knowledge of particular specialties — vary by institution.