Sunday, January 29, 2012

When You Want a Second Opinion...

I have received several letters recently in which sjoggies have confided to me that they are less than pleased with their physicians, for a variety of reasons.

Been there. Experienced that. It's uncomfortable.

We all know that a good relationship with our healthcare provider is vital to receiving the best possible care in the treatment of any disease - autoimmune diseases included. Sjogren's syndrome frequently is not diagnosed for five or six years from onset of symptoms, and so many sjoggies find themselves being labeled with a huge variety of diagnoses which may or may not be accurate. And at that point when serious doubt arises in the patient's mind about those diagnoses, it's a good idea to seek another medical opinion.

Asking a physician for a second opinion can seem to be a daunting task. Initiating a discussion with a healthcare provider which insinuates that you are somewhat skeptical of their diagnosis/treatment plan is often necessary but also can be painful.

So I was interested to read this from the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services' newsletter:

This sheet was written in 2008, but the information it contains is still useful. Confident and competent physicians will be comfortable in assisting you in getting another opinion. Those that would question your need to do so would raise a red warning flag, in my opinion, and a negative or confrontational response would reinforce the need to seek care elsewhere.

It's your body. It's your health and your life. So go find the care that you deserve.

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