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Second medical opinions in New Jersey can lead to more than peace of mind

Has recent medical news from your doctor left you feeling unsettled? A second opinion could help you breathe easier.

On your most recent trip to your doctor in New Jersey, you learned of a major medical decision that you have to make regarding a disease, procedure or surgery. To help you make the best choice regarding your health, you may want to get a second opinion from another medical professional. Additionally, going the extra mile can potentially help avoid a medical malpractice case.

Why should you think about getting a second opinion?

One of the biggest reasons to consider a second medical opinion is that your primary doctor informed you that you likely need an intensive, risky or expensive medical procedure. Even if you have insurance, you could still pay a substantial amount out of your own pocket.

If your primary physician does not explain the treatment or test in a way you can easily comprehend, that is another reason to get a second opinion. Your doctor may take great care of you, but she could lack the proper communication skills to break down your treatment or test in ways you understand. Harboring uncertainties or wanting to gather more information are also solid reasons for getting a second opinion.

What are your priorities?

Sometimes, it is a good idea to get a second opinion from a medical care specialist who does not know you. That is because your primary care doctor and a different specialist can give you insight on different aspects of your disease, surgery or procedure.

For instance, while your primary doctor may focus more on the disease, procedure or surgery, a different doctor you have never seen before could give you more information regarding the side effects of the disease, procedure or surgery. Having the full picture allows you to make a medical decision that suits your current desires, finances and health goals.

What questions should you ask?

To make the most of getting a second opinion, there are certain questions you should ask. For instance, what does the surgery/procedure/disease mean for your overall health? What kind of progression can you expect? What is the scope of your options? What happens if you decide to do nothing about the disease, or if you opt to not have the procedure or surgery?

After you have the answers to these questions from your primary doctor and the second doctor, compare the information you have learned. Also, do not be afraid to share the findings of your second opinion with your primary physician.

Is your desire for a second opinion fueled by the suspicion that your primary doctor failed to diagnose or misdiagnosed you? Speak with a New Jersey law professional to discuss your case and explore your legal options.