To Second Opinion or Not, what is the etiquitte?
October 23, 2011 2:57 PM Subscribe
What is the etiquette for getting a second opinion? I like my primary care physician, but am feeling on one issue that she may not be doing all that she can. But it could also be me. . .
posted by [insert clever name here] to health & fitness (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been with my current doctor for probably 10 years now. She's helped me through a variety of issues. However, I've had a slow accumulation of symptoms, over the past few years, and initially she seemed to be very concerned, but as they've lingered and tests have come back with no answers, I feel a bit like she sees me as "that patient" that comes in and complains all the time. She's never said such, so it really might be my own frustration at a lack of diagnosis, but I really am beginning to feel that way.
Lately, I've felt much worse, got a whole new battery of tests, with nothing out of the ordinary. She's now referred me to a specialist for one possible cause. I won't be able to get into that doctor another month, and I'm feeling worse than I ever have, and its starting to affect parts of my life in a way it hasn't before. I'm also not convinced that the specialist's area of expertise is the cause, though I see my doctor's point in wanting to rule it out.
I've been thinking of going to see another PCP, to get another set of eyes on me and my records, as it were. However, I don't necessarily want to stop going to my doctor, especially if there really isn't an obvious answer and a new doctor doesn't do any better than my current doctor.
I'm not sure I'm willing to rule out my own frustration/impatience here and not a failing of my doctor. Other times she's been amazing when I've had problems, and in a few cases felt like she really went the extra mile, including a time when an Urgent Care doctor completely blew me off with a diagnosis of "stress" when I knew something was physically wrong. She did too, and had me feeling better in a couple hours. So I have good reason to want to stay with her. She's also really responsive, calls back right away when I have a concern, and I can usually get in to see her quickly.
At the moment though, I feel a bit lost. Is it normal to seek out assistance from another doctor? Do I just wait until I can get into the specialist she referred me to? If I see another doctor, do I coordinate care with my current doctor, or is it generally assumed that is the end of the relationship with one doctor?