As residents of Oregon visit health care providers every day, there are given diagnoses and information that can completely change their lives. Although they do their best, doctors or other professionals can still make mistakes at times. if you have received a severe diagnosis that requires an extensive treatment plan, you may want to seek a second opinion before you start treatment.

According to Cigna, a second opinion is important when you are not sure how well a treatment or test will work or you need more information about your treatment options. It is also helpful if you are not sure about your diagnosis or you have to decide if a risky or costly treatment is worth the potential reward.

It can seem awkward to ask for a second opinion, but many doctors expect you to do so. You can ask them for a referral to another expert in their field that is not closely connected to their office. If you feel uncomfortable asking your doctor for a name, you can look to a local medical society, your insurance company or a nearby university hospital. Your primary care doctor may recommend surgery for treatment, but it is not a bad idea to get your second opinion from an actual surgeon. You may also want to get a second opinion from a professional whose background and treatment style are different than your primary care doctor’s.

Once you have obtained a second opinion, you want to go over the information with the specialist or primary doctor you have chosen. Discuss how potential treatments may change your life and what the chances are of success. If the doctors have the same opinion, your choice is clear. If two doctors disagree on your diagnosis or treatment plan, you may benefit from getting a third opinion or discussing your plan with your primary doctor.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.