Most people have heard references to medical malpractice and often associate these events with active mistakes wherein a doctor or some other health care professional do the wrong thing. However, some cases of medical errors may actually involve no direct actions. One example is when a doctor fails to diagnose a person’s problem, leaving the patient to experience troubles for much longer before a diagnosis is finally achieved, and treatment can begin. These instances of delayed diagnosis contribute to many medical errors. 

The American Cancer Society indicates that when a patient seeks help from a doctor only to be told that nothing is wrong with them or to be recommended that they just wait it out, the patient may consider that as an ideal time to get a second opinion. A person generally knows what feels within the realm of normal for their own body and when something is amiss, pursuing an answer and a solution is more than reasonable – it is the person’s right. 

Seeking a second opinion may uncover a problem that a first provider missed. In some cases, a second opinion corroborates a first doctor’s opinion, providing greater trust in that view. Other times when a second opinion may be of value include when a person has been recommended to undergo a very invasive or experimental treatment. 

If you would like to learn more about the value of getting a second medical opinion and when and how to do so, please feel free to visit the patient’s rights and assistance page of our Illinois medical malpractice website.