Sunday, 9 April 2017

Second Opinion Usually Changes Diagnosis

A Mayo Clinic study of several hundred patients who went for a second medical opinion, shocked me.  Two thirds of the diagnoses were significantly modified and another one fifth were changed completely.  Only 12% of the original diagnoses were confirmed.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic examined 286 patient records of individuals who had decided to consult a second opinion, hoping to determine whether being referred to a second specialist impacted one’s likelihood of receiving an accurate diagnosis.The study, conducted using records of patients referred to the Mayo Clinic’s General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period, ultimately found that when consulting a second opinion, the physician only confirmed the original diagnosis 12 percent of the time.
Who goes for a second opinion?  People with mortal diagnoses.  People who have doubts of their own.  People who have already done on-line research with Google.  People who don't trust everyone in a white coat and a degree.   My anecdotal evidence is of a neighbour whose husband was dying. She did some research and got a second opinion after he had been direct to a hospice.  The cancer was re-evaluated as a commonly treatable one in a bad spot and his life was saved.

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