In the UK, our cultural conditioning can sometimes make us unwilling to seek a second opinion, particularly in relation to medical treatment. Naturally, we want to trust medical professionals but our reluctance to seek the opinion of another can sometimes go beyond this natural instinct.
It’s fine to request a second opinion
Here at W27, patients sometimes tell us they felt embarrassed to ask for a second opinion, believing their original clinician might be offended or think the patient didn’t respect their judgement. Some even feared that asking for a second opinion might jeopardise their treatment from their original doctor. The first thing to say is that all medical professionals are used to patients asking for second opinions. Here at W27, we are often asked to provide second opinions and we are completely happy if patients want to request a second opinion about a diagnosis that we have given.
A second opinion ensures the best results
There are some very good reasons for asking for a second opinion before embarking on a course of treatment so we would urge you not to feel awkward if you would like to check out your diagnosis. Here are some of the reasons why getting a second opinion helps to ensure your treatment gets results:
- Gives you the best chance of recovery – if you don’t have an accurate diagnosis then the treatment you receive will not deliver the best outcomes. This is why it is so vital to have the most accurate diagnosis possible. Our consultant Dr Basu is often called on to provide a second opinion due to his extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of musculoskeletal imaging. He reviews scans from patients who are based anywhere in the UK as they can be sent quickly and safely using electronic encryption in accordance with GDPR guidelines.
- Saves money – sometimes patients are concerned about having to repeat scans that have already been performed. Our recommendation is always that scans should only be carried out if absolutely necessary. If you’ve had scans within the last 6-12 months we can review these and provide a second opinion, saving you both time and money.
- Leading expertise wherever you are in the UK – In the interests of patient equality, it does not matter whereabouts you live as a second opinion gives you access to the highest level of expertise from the UK’s top experts. Dr Basu is a leading reviewer for articles submitted to radiology and orthopaedic journals as well as lecturing at conferences and universities. You do not need to travel to our locations in the North West of England to access this service.
- Avoidance of doubt – When you are undergoing medical treatment, particularly if the treatment involves invasive surgery, you want to be certain that the treatment is both necessary and appropriate for your condition. If there is a shadow of doubt in your mind, it is helpful to seek a second opinion. This may be particularly necessary if you have been undergoing treatment based on your original diagnosis and it is not producing the expected results. While it’s important to trust your doctor it’s also important to trust your own instincts and if your gut feeling is that something is not right you need to act on this by asking another medical professional to investigate your concerns.
- Peace of mind – Maybe you are unhappy with the original diagnosis or you believe something may have been missed, maybe your scans were performed overseas, or maybe your insurers are requesting a second opinion. There may be many different reasons for you to consider seeking the opinion of another medical professional but whatever they are, this is a good way to ensure confidence and peace of mind
A collaborative approach
At W27, we believe that several pairs of eyes are better than one and we are accustomed to collaborating with colleagues across different disciplines to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. Although it is rare, doctors are only human and they can and do make mistakes. A 2017 study by the Mayo Clinic published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice reviewed 286 patients and found that 88% of those who sought a second opinion received a new or refined diagnosis. For 21% the diagnosis was distinctly different to the original diagnosis. This meant that approximately one in five patients was incorrectly diagnosed.
If you would like us to provide a second opinion for your musculoskeletal diagnosis, visit our Second Opinion page for more information.
MUSCULOSKELETAL TREATMENT | MANCHESTER, LANCASHIRE & CHESHIRE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
HCA The Wilmslow Hospital – 52 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 1NY
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
MedSerena Upright MRI Centre – 26-28 The Boulevard, Manchester, M20 2EU
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.