Good Chance you have a Wrong Diagnosis. The Importance of Second Opinions.

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A recent report from the Mayo Clinic states that as many as 88% of all medical diagnosis are wrong! Let that sink in. That means that if you've only seen one doctor, the chances are almost nine out of ten that you may end up being treated for the wrong condition! 

Personally, I'm not surprised, in fact more surprised that people simply accept what their doctors tell them at face value after sometime no more than an exam that lasts minutes.

The recommendation, and pure common sense, is to get a second opinion for at least any significant diagnosis that can impact your life such as bph/luts with most of us here.

In general, the best place for a second opinion is a major medical center where the doctor who made your initial diagnosis is not affilited with. If you get a second opinion within the same organization, or with a doctor affiliated with your doctor's hospital, the second opinion can often be tainted by medical politics or peer influence.

Related, second opinions are also very important in terms of radiological findings. Recently here, a well well respected interventional radiologist diagnosed tumors from a 3T MRI Scan only to change his mind after the scan was reviewed by another radiologist. Had there not been two opinions, an unecessary operation might have been performed. This happens all the time. And if it were me, I'd probably get a third opinion in this instance from one of the second opinion radiology services such as the one Mayo has. You just send them the scans, no need to travel or see a doctor as I understand it.

Most people here are diagnosed with BPH because of lower urinary tract symptons (LUTS). But in fact many cases of LUTS may have nothing to do with BPH. For one example is that it could be a problem with your bladder. And yet, doctors all too often group the two together (BPH and LUTS) and reflexively offer a surgical solution if medications don't work.  

I will post a link to the Mayo report in my next post, but it will probably take a day or two for it to go through the moderation process. For those who want to see the report sooner, google "Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrate value of second opinions".

Jim

 

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  • Posted

    Mayo report here:

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/mc-mcr033017.php

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    • Posted

      That was very interesting.  I wonder if it would be safer not to see a nurse practitiioners and physicion assistants for what is wrong.  Doctor do make the wrong calls sometimes.  All of them were in this test.  Do you get what I'm trying to say.  I have see my family doctor and his nurse practitioner for my throat they still don't know what one.  They both told me diffierent things and gave me different meds.  Maybe we should not trust the assistants.  It hard enough to trust some doctors. But a good practice to start is allway fet a second opinion before you fet any surgery and if the doctor does not like it do it anyway.  That is your right  Take care all  Ken  

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    • Posted

      I had a RPA for years. Guy was very good. He left or retired I have no clue. The NP they replaced him with is bad. I get in to see a doc there when I can or just call a specialist as my insurance doesn't require a referral. I have yet to see a NP or assistant who ,in my opinion, seems to know what they are doing. Wish they would just use them for cuts and sniffles. Leave the real doc stuff to docs. Don't like being practiced on.

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  • Posted

    Not sure bout where your from Jim but recently I had to fill out and sign papers that link all my medical records with all docs offices and hospitals. If I go to another doc for a second opinion, first thing they do is look up all previous docs and diagnosis given. Keeps ppl from going to several docs and getting multiple prescriptions for drugs , and going to multiple ER rooms for drugs. So there opinions get tainted before you even get a chance for second opinion. Most specialists there's a 3 month or more waiting list. Some longer. I recently seen a gastro. He wants to scope my stomach for ulcers. Lady found me a appointment at the end of May. That was the only date he had open before the end of October. Lol. I seen ppl in other places wait a year or more for apps. Think that makes ppl take that first docs word for it and stops them from getting a second one.

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    • Posted

      I'm in the U.S.  Sounds like you're UK?

      I once went to a big shot specialist (not a urologist) and didn't only not like his diagnosis but didn't like him as well. So, I made an appointment for a second opinion at the same hospital. 

      Getting along well with the new doc who was starting to go in another direction with the diagnosis, when all of a sudden she said while reviewing my records, "Oh, you already saw Dr. "X". Why are you coming to me then."  

      At that point her diagnosis was over and I was out the door. Learned a big lesson there about not getting second opinions within a hospital group especially if the second opinion was down on the status food chain.

      With radiology reports, I sometimes wonder the same, especially when they compare them to older reports. Of course, there is utility in having an image history, but on the other hand a truly fresh read might in many cases come up with something different.

      I once underwent some treatment based on a biopsy report that was not prostate related. Later, I got a significantly different read by another doctor and realized that I had been pushed into a treatment I did not need at the time.

      On the other hand, a second opinion can be reassuring. I sent one radiology report to a medical center specializing in second opinions for that particular issue. The report confirmed that I did not need any treatment. 

      And that's just me!

      Second opinions are tricky. On one hand you do want the doctor to know your history, but on the other hand the history can often taint the new doctor's diagnosis. Depending on the specific issue, I have sometimes gotten a second opinion and intentionally left parts of my medical history blank. Other times, not as much.

      A few years ago I wanted a second opinion on bladder cancer which it turned out I didn't have. I felt it important for the second opinion doctor to see some of the lab work. Even though the original doctor was from a different hospital, they were both from the same area. I left the report in tact but photo shopped out the name of the doctor and hospital where the tests were taken. The new doctor never asked. Hopefully, he actually read them smile

      I understand the idea behind linking all medical records with all docs, hospitals, etc. And maybe one day they will do it here as well. Just hope it's not for a long time.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Nope. I live in the U.S. Upstate NY. They just started it end of last year. It was voluntary for a couple years. Now they linked all medical records. They even had me sign a paper saying I won't go to other hospitals trying to get drugs. And if I do I can be charged with a crime. I also have to have all scripts sent to the same pharmacy. I don't like it. I think it taints the docs opinions making a second opinion useless. I had a nurse tell me she thought it was wrong. A GP may get complacent and not look as deep as they should. Ignore new symptoms thinking it's all from the same problem instead of digging deeper. A new set of eyes may see something the other doc didn't. I had to travel a hour and a half up north to Syracuse to a specialist for another issue. University hospital. Nothing to do with our local health services( Lourdes and UHS). He had access to all my medical records and had already reviewed them.

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    • Posted

      Who exactly made you fill out these forums? Was it a hospital? An insurance company? 

      I have Medicare with Plan F supplemental. Up until now at least, I could see as many different doctors on the same issue as I want without any records being shared. The only time I've run into the shared record issue is when I see another hosptial affiliated doctor in the same doctor. In this case, sometimes the computers are linked and the second doctor will see my records. But even then, I didn't run into any issues in terms of not being able to get that second opinion.

      That said, I haven't been to a doctor this year so maybe this is something new with Medicare? I hope not.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Take that back. I think I saw an ENT this year, but maybe late last year. Still, no one made me fill out any papers/releases, etc.
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    • Posted

      Had to do it at my primaries office. Not on Medicare. NY has a bunch of crazy laws they keep passing to try to combat drug abuse. Not surprised if it's only us have to do it. You have to take a drug test for all controlled substances to. I get tested randomly for a script I get and it's not pain pills. Last letter I got they test for over 65 different things including alcohol.

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    • Posted

      Can I ask what type of insurance you have? Sounds like an insurance company plan regulation that your doctor is  a part of as opposed to a NYS or Federal law. Wouldn't be surprised to see those types of restrictions coming to Medicare soon, but so far so good.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Have blue Cross. But doc I went to up north had no insurance info before I went to him. But he did have my medical records. Knee doc I go to is a UHS company. My docs are all Lourdes affiliates. Knee doc gets paid from a old comp case I have had since 1985. They have none of my insurance info. They have my medical records now to.
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  • Posted

    Really good advice. I've had a few encounters along those lines. One of them could have proved fatal. The doc easily diagnosed me with giardia and didn't want to do further testing. I went for a second opinion where the doc did further testing, and in addition to the giardia, I had shigellosis which is potentially fatal. Second doc was an osteopath, and I have had fond feelings for osteopaths ever since!

    On another note, I showed x-rays for possible perio work to 3 different dentists. I got three different opinions about what the situation was, and all 3 dentists were very sure of their opinions. Go figure! 2 of the opinions, while still different, recommended no perio work, so that's what I went with.

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  • Posted

    The "diagnoses" provided by the members of this forum have far better statistics because we "live" with the consequences of the "professionals"!

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    • Posted

      And ironically we probably actually take more time thinking about things! With some docs it seems that the diagnosis has been made before you walk in the door. As long as you fit into a basic mold, they often spout off the diagnosis almost immediately. I knew that but assumed they'd still be right at least in a majority of cases, which is still not very good. But this report shows they are wrong almost 9 out of 10 times in at least some aspect of the diagnosis. 

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Neil,

      Not sure I'd ever take a "diagnosis" here at face value. But the info and suggestions I have gotten from medical forums like these have been extremely valuable in helping me evaluate what I've been told by professionals and providing next steps. I always double check anything I read in these forums the available literature. But then again, I do it with my doctors as well!

      And the experiences here are invaluabe because like you say we have lived with the consequences of the professionals. Too bad more doctors don't read these forums and find out what happens after their "successful" surgery!  Fact is they are probably too busy getting ready for the next surgery. 

      Jim

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    • Posted

      I hate it when docs won't listen to what you have to say. I try to tell them as much info as possible to make there job easier. Some seem to want to draw there own opinion. I think the best docs take the time to listen to you. Then make a diagnosis.

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