The entire country takes doctors and specialists’ medical opinions seriously when it comes to the health and overall well-being of themselves and their loved ones. For a patient who shows early signs of a serious disease, or needs major surgery, individuals highly regard what their medical practitioner has to say and recommend. MRIs, CT scans, digital X-rays, mammograms, and other radiology tests all play an important role in today’s medical diagnoses, prognoses, and treatment plans.
However, for patients who have received treatment and haven’t seen an improvement in health, seeking a second opinion with radiology tests is ideal. In cases where patients aren’t seeing the results they had hoped for with their initial treatment course, a second opinion can be an important step in getting to the root of the problem.
According to the National Center for Policy Analysis (source: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=23148), an estimated 10 to 20 percent of medical cases are misdiagnosed. Another report states that 28 percent of 583 diagnostic mistakes were life-threatening or had resulted in death or permanent disability.
There is growing concern over the misuse of medical imaging tests and radiology exams. The proliferation of advanced medical imaging equipment in doctors’ offices is one of the biggest causes – as non-radiologist physicians attempt to increase revenue by scanning their own patients. Many of these non-radiologist offices are over-scanning for obvious reasons, and this is very dangerous – not only as a public health issue, but also for the patients. Additionally, the radiologist’s recommendation of additional imaging tests can sometimes be too aggressive – and this puts the referring physician in a defensive position where they feel the need to order to unnecessary tests.
Imaging definitely needs to be better controlled – and the radiologist needs to play a larger role in educating the ordering physicians, and also changing their own habits.
As an informed and empowered patient, you should be aware of this. If additional tests were recommended, it can’t hurt to double check with your physician about their necessity – or to get a second opinion.
Medical imaging has significantly increased over the past 10 years – and radiation exposure along with it. This is especially true with CT scans (Computed Tomography). There is also significant overuse of scans, and this also adds to the added unnecessary radiation exposure.
Getting a second opinion on a scan – or having it re-read – can sometimes help avoid an unnecessary test. It is possible that the original recommendation was too aggressive or advised a followup regimen that isn’t warranted. Sometimes radiologists recommend additional scans when they aren’t needed. Having someone take a second look can’t hurt – and it may actually help reduce harmful radiation exposure.
There are many “online” or web-based medical second opinion services. What is the difference between radiology second opinion services and other medical second opinion services? Why would someone choose a radiology second opinion service over other types? Here is more information on the topic:
Second opinions in medicine are very important – as patients’ diagnoses are not always clear cut. In these circumstances, a second – or even third opinion – can be very helpful and shed some light on the diagnostic possibilities.read more →
MetisMD has a track record of providing expert second opinions that empower patients to regain control of their own health care. Click here for a list of our services.
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