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Seeking a Second Opinion

Tips on when it's a good idea

SATURDAY, Sept. 18, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Getting a second opinion can help patients get better information about a diagnosis, treatment and overall care. But knowing when to do that isn't always clear.

According to an article in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource, you may want to consider a second opinion when: your diagnosis isn't clear; you have a rare or serious condition; your current treatment isn't working; your doctors suggests a procedure that's risky, expensive or experimental.

Even if the second opinion is similar to what the first doctor told you, it can be valuable, especially if you have doubts about a diagnosis or treatment.

Before you seek a second opinion, find out if your health insurance will cover the cost and then talk to your doctor, who can forward your medical records. Share the second-opinion information with your primary doctor.

More information

The American College of Surgeons has advice on seeking a second opinion on surgery.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, September 2004
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