You rely on your doctor like you rely on your mechanic: like mechanics, doctors possess knowledge you likely donât, so when they tell you to do somethingâeven if you donât always agreeâyou normally do it without question. You take their word for it; I do the same thing most of the time. But, what do you do if you think your doctor is wrong?
Although I pay close attention to health news and research, I donât have the intricate understanding of the body or the knowledge of how to treat all kinds of illnesses that a doctor does.
But the thing is that your doctor might not even know when theyâre off the mark. And whatâs scary is that itâs really hard for you to ever determine whether youâve got a good doctor and if theyâre really doing all they can for your health.
Woman Saves Her Own Life by Getting a Second Opinion
I recently read an article about a young Canadian woman whose doctor seemed too proud to admit they didnât know what was going on with the patient. Instead of referring her to another doctor, this physician patted the patient on the leg and said the intense stomach pain she was experiencing was the result of anxiety. Later that day, the young woman was on the operating table undergoing emergency surgery. Her condition wasnât anxietyâit was a serious and uncommon gastrointestinal condition called ovarian torsion.
Even though this woman trusted her doctor, she didnât believe the diagnosis because she knew herself too well. Sheâd never experienced any sort of anxiety or depression in her young life and didnât believe that was what was wrong with herâand she was right.
What to Do if Your Doctor Is Wrong
Youâre the only one who knows how you feel, and sometimes a doctor canât get it right. Now Iâm not saying all doctors or wrongâand Iâm certainly not saying that if youâre unrealistic, or in denial, about a condition that you shouldnât listenâbut I am saying that sometimes a doctor wonât get it right and a second opinion is in order.
Along with asking for a second opinionâif your doctor is telling you everything is okay and you know youâre notâyou can also ask your doctor some questions. Ask if there are any tests that could be administered, ask how certain lifestyle decisions may be affecting your health, ask for a list of a few alternative ideas, and finally, ask them if they have any expertise in the particular area where youâre experiencing symptoms.
Most of the time your doctor is likely to get it rightâbut sometimes they can miss something. And when they do, the consequences can be devastating. Know your body, be honest about how you feel, and donât be afraid to get the care you deserve.
Source for Todayâs Article
Zlomislic, D., âIgnoring doctor may have saved Whitby girl from âabdominal catastropheââ Toronto Star, August 29, 2016; https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/08/29/ignoring-doctor-may-have-saved-whitby-girl-from-abdominal-catastrophe.html, last accessed August 31, 2016.