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Second Opinions

What if I want another opinion before undergoing treatment? An opinion from another physician is very important before underlying major therapy, and it is your right to seek one. You may ask your physician to send you to another physician, but it is better if you find the second physician on your own. A second opinion from an independent physician is an especially good idea for nonemergency or "elective" surgery, so that you can fully consider all the possible risks and benefits.

What is the second physician entitled to obtain from my original physician? The physician giving a second opinion should obtain a summary of your medical history from the original physician. This summary should include the results of any tests you were given so that they need not be repeated. If the original physician refuses to provide x-rays, that physician must at least make them available for the second physician to view.

What if the original physician refused to make the records or x-rays available? You should call the physician and explain the situation, then send a written request for the information. If this does not work, you should contact you local medical society, or see an attorney.


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