INDIANAPOLIS — Getting a serious medical diagnosis can be life changing. But different doctors might have different opinions about your condition, or how to treat it.
That's why Caitlin Donovan with the National Patient Advocate Foundation said it's important to consider a second opinion from a different doctor.
"A lot of times you have more time than you think you do before treatment starts," Donovan said.
Donovan added that this is the case even if you love your doctor.
"You may find that your doctor will have one treatment idea and another doctor may agree with them. Or they may not. Or they may agree with a diagnosis, but offer up a separate treatment," Donovan said.
So what might stop a person from getting a second opinion?
It's not insurance, Donovan said, they usually encourage and cover a second set of eyes.
It is the patient being nervous about hurting the doctor's feelings.
"If you're worried about offending them. You can always blame your insurance say, 'You know what my insurance requires me to get a second opinion. Can you refer me?' Or maybe, 'I'd love to discuss your treatment ideas with another doctor. Can you refer to someone you would recommend?' And therefore you're kind of making them the expert again," Donovan said.
She said if the doctor does get weird about it, maybe that's not the best person for the job.
If you're on Medicare the deal is sweetened a little more.
"You are entitled to not only a second opinion, but if they differ, you're entitled to a third opinion," Donovan said.
That way you're making the most informed decision possible.