Patients May Be Too Reluctant To Get Second Opinions

Posted On : February 15, 2015,   Time : 10:31 pm

Do enough patients obtain second opinions when they’re necessary?

Writer Jerry Gianciolo doesn’t think so. In a recent opinion article in the Boston Globe, he discussed accompanying a friend to visit a cardiologist who had complaints of pain in his chest. The cardiologist immediately recommended an angioplasty without seeing the results of an angiogram. When Gianciolo suggested patientsthe friend seek a second opinion, the friend declined to do so.

“Regardless of education level, Americans instinctively trust the accuracy of their doctor’s advice even when, as in this case, the internist is a stranger,” he wrote.

Gianciolo cited a study by the non-profit Patient Advocate Foundation concluding that when patients sought a second opinion, it was different from the initial diagnosis 30 percent of the time.

“Whatever the reason, deliberation is shunted aside often at the patient’s expense,” he concluded.

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Read the Boston Globe article here.

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