When you have a chronic illness such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
, maintaining a good relationship with your physician is extremely important. However, even if you have trust in your health care providers, there are times when you might need a second opinion, such as if you think you have been misdiagnosed or you have gone undiagnosed. With IBD, you might also consider getting a second opinion before having any type of surgery
A second opinion isn't always necessary -- at times it's clear what the diagnosis is and what the treatment should be. There are cases, however, where diagnosis and treatment are not clear-cut. Differentiating
between ulcerative colitis
and Crohn's disease
can be difficult. It's not unheard of to be diagnosed with one form of IBD, only to later find out it was the wrong one. IBD is a complicated disease and your treatment plan should take into account your lifestyle, the severity of your disease, your ability to afford the treatment, and any possible adverse effects. If you are ever concerned that your diagnosis is incorrect or that your need for treatment is not being met, a second opinion could either verify your suspicions or put them to rest. This article can help you determine if you really do want to seek a second opinion.
Once you have decided to seek a second opinion, the next step would be to find a physician who can take an unbiased look at your case. Of course you will want a board-certified physician, but you'll also want to see someone that is not affiliated (such as a partner in the same practice) with the doctor who gave you a first opinion. You'll need to do some of your own legwork to find your second opinion doctor
, but you can start by checking with your insurance to find doctors on your plan, or your local hospital to get a list of specialists. Here you will find the steps to take to find your "Doctor Right."
When you do decide to get a second opinion, you'll want to be sure that the new physician has everything she needs to get started on your case. You'll need to discuss your need for a second opinion and forward your records from your current physician. After your second opinion has weighed in on your case you will have some decisions to make in order to determine your next steps. Use this article to find out how to take the information from your first and second opinions and decide what to do with them.
What happens if you decide that your second opinion doctor is going to work out better than your first opinion doctor? There could be a variety of reasons why this could be the case, some of which may be related to your diagnosis and treatment and others which may be related to communication and bedside manner. Learn the most effective way to change doctors to ensure that you have continuity of care.