How to Choose A Doctor

What if the Doctor is Wrong?

A recent Wall street Journal Article "What if the Doctor is Wrong?" discussed when patients should seek a second opinion. It says:

Evidence is mounting that second opinions-particularly on radiology images and pathology slides from biopsies-can lead to significant changes in a patient's diagnosis or in recommendations for treating a disease.

After a decade of annual mammograms, more than half of women will receive at least one false positive recall on a breast-cancer screening, a recent study found. And nearly half of malpractice claims at Harvard University's medical institutions that resulted in serious patient harm or death in the past five years were diagnostic errors.

Many people are afraid to get a second opinion - not wanting to offend or question their doctor; however, second opinions have been standard medical practice for years. A good doctor will welcome additional input and will support your efforts.

You can ask your doctor for a recommendation (preferably someone outside their practice), ask someone you trust for a recommendation (another doctor) or you can check with your insurance provider. Make sure you get copies of your medical records and send them to the second doctor.

Most importantly: ask questions. Be aggressive in seeking quality care. Always ask: What else could this be?