theMost people in Pennsylvania have been raised to respect physicians and their input. This respect is warranted in most cases but that respect does not mean that patients should simply blindly accept any and all recommendations made by their doctors. It is important for every person to feel that they can take ownership of their health and advocate for themselves. In some cases, this advocacy comes in the form of getting a second medical opinion.

According to WebMD, not every situation warrants a second opinion but ones that do may include treatment recommendations that have a high level of risk associated with them or that involve experimental procedures or medications. Anytime that a patient feels unclear about a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment, getting another viewpoint can be useful.

Many people may be fearful of letting their doctors know they would like a second opinion as they do not want to appear adversarial. In today’s culture, however, reputable doctors will receive such information well and should actually be supportive of this step. Some might even promote their patients seeking additional opinions from other providers. suggests that a person could let their doctor know about their wishes for a second opinion by indicating they always do further research before making major decisions. Involving the first doctor is essential so that the patient can get access to all medical records for the second doctor to review. Some of these records may also need to be collected from labs, hospitals, pharmacies or other facilities.