How To Ask for A Second Opinion With The Help of Your Doctor

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Playing The Right Way To Get a Second Medical Opinion | Dr. Lisa Sanders
The Right Way To Get a Second Medical Opinion | Dr. Lisa Sanders Aired October 17, 2019

You've probably been told by family or friends that you should always get a second opinion, but what does an actual doctor have to say on the matter?

Dr. Lisa Sanders is the expert behind The New York Times Magazine's wildly popular "Diagnosis" column, as well as the new Netflix series of the same name. Nicknamed the "Sherlock Holmes" of the medical field, the doc has used crowdsourcing to help solve a number of complicated medical mysteries.

When it comes to your health, though, you probably want to keep things as simple as possible. Dr. Lisa is answering common medical questions you might have about symptoms, diagnosis, self-diagnosis and more.

Q: When it comes to a diagnosis, is it always a good idea to seek a second opinion?

We polled our in-studio audience, and a whopping 93% voted yes, while only 7% voted no. So, were they correct?

A: Yes.

Dr. Lisa is absolutely with the audience members who voted yes, especially when it comes to major procedures or medication changes.

"In particular, you should get a second opinion if you're going to have surgery. If someone is saying you need surgery, absolutely get a second opinion," she says. "Or, if they're going to prescribe some medication that you're not so sure about. Go get a second opinion."

Getting a second opinion is totally valid, and it's not something you should be ashamed about. Lots of people assume their doctor will be insulted by the ask, but as a medical professional, they shouldn't be, according to Dr. Lisa.

In fact, she recommends asking your doctor who you should go see. It's important to work with your diagnosing doctor rather than going behind their back.

"You shouldn't sneak off like you're committing adultery with a different doctor. Don't do that — let your doctor be part of the team," she says. 

Try saying something along the lines of, "I would like a second opinion. Who would you recommend?"

The more you know!

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