health advocacy, healthcare and financial management

The importance of obtaining a second opinion.

Patient advocacy

For more information, please contact us [email protected] or 412-927-3737.

Expert second opinion is always a great choice for any patient and even  actually any healthy person who wants to increase their chance of remaining so both in the short and long term. Making decisions can be very challenging as an individual navigates complex healthcare systems, especially when a person needs to choose between multiple medical options. One of the key challenges is to have peace of mind to know that a correct diagnosis and treatment plans are appropriate.

Well known research from Mayo Clinic , underscores the importance of second opinions. Their scientist uncovered that about 88 percent of people who pursued second opinion at the Mayo Clinic received different or refined diagnosis that changed the trajectory of their treatment plan. Predictably, only 12 percent of patients included in the study had their initial diagnosis unchanged.

Despite the proven value which in some cases can even be life saving, may people never even contemplate seeking one. Some are concerned with potentially offending their current clinical team, while others do not wish to delay their existing treatment process. However, both of this concerns are quite misguided, as any reputable clinical team would welcome an input from another medical group and in most oncology cases, starting a treatment regimen within a short time period from initial diagnosis does not impact either short or long term outcomes.

The following are just some, but definitely not all situations, when a reasonable individual should strongly consider obtaining a second opinion:

  • Cancer Diagnosis. Second opinion for potential cancer diagnosis should include review of imaging, pathology and all relevant diagnostic testing to both determine the correct diagnosis as well as map the treatment journey. Since treatment modalities for cancer are continuously evolving, having a second opinion can often make a life changing difference
  • Diagnosis with complex or unusual health issue. There are over 7000 rare diseases and it is estimates that over 50 million people worldwide suffer from them. Consequentially, very few physicians are familiar and able to diagnose and treat them, while complex diseases often require multi-specialists team approach.
  • Not having any diagnosis or such being not definite. Many diseases and potential diagnoses share similar symptoms.  Obtaining second opinion allows patients to secure review by specialized team with vast experience to arrive at appropriate diagnosis
  • Becoming a more knowledgeable healthcare citizen. By obtaining a second opinion, a person gain deeper understanding of condition and treatment options, which allows for informed decision making, which is likely to have both short and long-term consequences.

By utilizing Evonym’s online second medical opinion program, healthcare clients and their families can tap into a global pool of medical experts and to make wise decisions about their healthcare and future.

For more information, please contact us