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When to Get A Second Opinion on Your Child’s Diagnosis or Care

A Second Opinion Can Address Concerns And Provide Clarity 

A patient and provider talk.

When a doctor makes a diagnosis, it can lead to a number of questions. Is the diagnosis accurate? What does this mean for our family? Did our provider make a mistake? Everything you’re feeling is completely logical. It can be difficult, however, to question the doctor who is caring for your child. That being said, seeking out a second opinion is something that can provide you with more answers, which will lead to proper care. 

While it can feel awkward, your child’s doctor will not be offended if and when you ask for a second opinion. In some cases, a general doctor may prefer it so that someone specialized in the field can give your family a better understanding of a diagnosis.  

This means you should never hesitate to ask questions or seek out additional information. As a doctor, their job is to make sure each patient receives the care they deserve. They do this by making sure parents get the answers they need, even when it has to come from a team of doctors as opposed to just one. Your child’s health is of the utmost importance, always. 

So, what happens when a family goes to another provider for a second opinion? It is actually pretty simple. Essentially, another doctor reviews the initial diagnosis and treatment plan for the medical condition in question. After reading through the necessary information and performing an exam, they can give their opinion. Then, decisions can be made about how to move forward. 

When Should I Get A Second Opinion? 

When is a second opinion necessary? First and foremost, a second opinion is needed when you have any doubts about a diagnosis or treatment plan. If anything isn’t clear, talking to a specialist may be the smartest way to move forward. It is also helpful when your child is dealing with other complex conditions. At Gillette Children’s, we have providers from all different fields in one place. This makes it easier for both patients and providers to communicate quickly and effectively. 

Seeking out a second opinion can also be beneficial when your child is receiving treatment but still dealing with symptoms. In certain cases, some health insurance companies require a second opinion. In other cases, it may be encouraged because the suggested treatment is experimental and/or risky. Nevertheless, Gillette Children’s is here to help you through every step of this process. 

For some families, coming prepared with specific questions can help ease their worries. What are my choices? Can you list out the pros and cons of treatment? How would your treatment plan differ from the others? These are common concerns that many parents have, regardless of diagnosis. While you may have a thousand thoughts running through your head, writing them down and bringing them with you means you won’t forget to ask anything important. 

Schedule Appointments Quickly To Put Your Worries At Ease 

Getting a second opinion as soon as possible is ideal. At Gillette Children’s, no referral is needed, which helps speed up the process. A member of our Pediatric Consult team can speak with you within three business days. In some cases, next-day appointments are also available. Our goal is to provide you with answers as soon as possible. 

Gillette Children’s is home to some of the best medical professionals in the country. The surgeons, physicians and advanced practice providers available through our Pediatric Expert Consult process specialize in complex conditions. From neurology to orthopedics, physical therapy to rehabilitation, we see patients experiencing a variety of symptoms. You can rest assured that your child will be in the best hands.  

A provider talks with a patient and her family.