What is a Real Second Opinion?

What is a Real Second Opinion?

What is a Real Second Opinion?

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You are sitting on an examination table, wearing not much more than a Kleenex, and your physician is telling you that he/ she recommends surgery. You hear that word and everything else sounds like the teacher on Charlie Brown. “Wah, wah, wah, wah”. You’ve only seen this doctor once before and all of a sudden, your life is in their hands. What do you do?

Let’s talk……

The first thing you do is realize that doctors are all trained differently, may not be aware of other options available, or may not be as comfortable with some treatments as other physicians,  and even if you know nothing about medicine, you are your own best advocate. Then you get a copy of your notes, including diagnosis codes and proposed surgical codes and start your homework. This means more than consulting “Dr. Google”. This means calling every medical person you know and getting names. It means calling your insurance company and finding out if second opinions are reimbursed. If they aren’t, it means getting the money together,  because this is too important to pinch pennies on.

Some people make an appointment for a second opinion in the same office as the first, or get another name from the original doctor. I feel this is not a true second opinion. If these doctors share an office, or play golf together every Wednesday, they are unlikely to contradict each other. This is where having a friend or acquaintance in the medical community will come in handy. If you don’t have that, look into patient advocacy programs.

One point to consider is if you tell the second opinion that they are, in fact, a second opinion. Many people feel they should go in cold and have the appointment take place as if it were the original one. Another way is to book a second opinion but not to tell the second physician what the first one said. The last way is to tell the second surgeon what the first one said, and ask if they agree with both the diagnosis and treatment recommended.

If the second opinion is not the same as the first, they are not automatically right, just different. More research is called for, until you are convinced you are doing the best thing possible for present circumstances.

All this is moot if you are in an emergency situation, such as pending paralysis or death, but should be considered any other time a major medical recommendation is received. No one is perfect, but you are your own protection against getting an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis, or treatment. Any physician that argues this is suspect, and makes a stronger case for caution.

Citations

  • Abbasi J. Shantanu Nundy, MD: The Human Diagnosis Project. JAMA. 2018 Jan 23;319(4):329-331. PubMed PMID: 29362789

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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