Despite how badly most people would want to trust in everything they are told by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, the reality of the matter is that health care providers can and do make mistakes. There are many reasons that medical errors occur, leaving some patients to feel a bit powerless or unsure of what to do to protect themselves. Getting a second medical opinion may be one of the most important things a person can do to avoid being impacted by a medical mistake. 

As explained by the American Cancer Society, many situations make seeking a second medical opinion the right thing to do. One such situation is when you are given a serious diagnosis by a first doctor. When the stakes are high, taking the time to collect more information matters greatly. Additional opinions are also recommended if you are considering undergoing any experimental or highly risky treatment. 

If you are repeatedly told by your doctor that there is nothing wrong with you, yet you continue to experience symptoms and problems that cannot be explained or addressed, you should look for another provider to give you input. Experts agree that reputable doctors will welcome you taking the steps to get a second opinion from another physician. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but it is instead meant to give people an idea of the benefits they may enjoy by getting a second medical opinion, when they may want to do so, and how to ask a physician for a referral to get a second opinion.