Last Updated on March 21, 2019 by Marie Bautista
It’s fair to say that we’d all like to think the best of doctors. Doctors are, by and large, a well-respected profession, and most of us will defer to their advice and guidance in an effort to manage our own health as effectively as possible.
For the most part, our faith in doctors is justified: doctors can help to change lives, identifying illnesses, providing remedies, and ensuring we are able to live the healthiest, happiest life imaginable. However, it is also important to note that doctors are only humans, and sometimes, they may not be able to provide the assistance we need.
When should you question a doctor?
For many people, the idea of questioning a diagnosis, a lack of diagnosis, or a course of treatment is genuinely anathema. We have all been raised to respect doctors, and if they say something is true or necessary, we feel we should take it as read.
Unfortunately, there may be points in your life when you feel you have to question a doctor. If you feel, at any point, that you are unhappy, you are well within your rights to ask for further clarification. There is no hard and fast rule as to when you should question a doctor; you should feel empowered to do this at any point if you see fit. If you’re unsure, or confused, or doubtful, then ask for more information – any good doctor will be happy to explain and provide reassurance.
The power of the second opinion
Sadly, it is impossible to overlook the fact that, on occasion, questioning a doctor does not clarify the situation. Some doctors respond poorly to being questioned, and they may seek to overrule you or dismiss your concerns.
In these cases, it’s tempting to just accept what they are saying, to defer to their natural authority. Unfortunately, there are dozens of cases where doctors have been proven to be incorrect, leading to patients needing to contact a law firm to seek advice on medical malpractice lawsuits. Doctors are not infallible, so if you’re truly unhappy with what a doctor is telling you, stand up for yourself – to an extent.
There is little point in asking a doctor for advice or reassurance if they have made it clear they are not going to provide it, and that their mind is set on the best route forward. If possible, it’s at this point you should seek a second opinion. Trying to continue with a doctor who is not listening to your concerns is pointless, so go elsewhere.
What if the second opinion agrees with the first?
If you find that you are disagreeing with two individual doctors, then it may be worth pausing and examining the issue from an objective point of view. While a single doctor can make a mistake, it’s unlikely that two doctors will make the exact same mistake. There is always the option of a third opinion if you prefer, but this may elicit the same result. If you disagree with the second opinion also, it might be worth following the advice provided and reassessing the situation after a few weeks. If it is not successful, then at least you can inform the third doctor of this, and they will know to look elsewhere for a remedy.
Disagreeing with a doctor is never an easy thing to experience. If it happens, seek further clarification and, if necessary, a second opinion. You do not have to accept medical advice that you disagree with. In the unlikely event the second opinion is also problematic, it is best to see what happens for a short period of time – if you do not see results, then a third opinion may be the best option.