It’s estimated that 12 million Americans get misdiagnosed every year. When it comes to mental health care specifically, diagnoses are not black and white. This is because symptoms of many mental disorders often overlap, which might put the patient at risk of an incorrect diagnosis. For peace of mind, many patients, as well as physicians, may seek out a second opinion to make sure they have the right diagnosis or treatment plan for their mental illness.
Dr. Seif is a board-certified psychiatrist, practising in the US and Canada. She offers a second opinion to patients who are diagnosed or treated by another health care professional. She also provides an assessment of medication prescribed by another physician to give the patient the reassurance they need.
When is a medical second opinion important?
Getting the reassurance from two health care professionals
Knowing two health care providers are thinking the same and the patient is being treated accordingly can give them the reassurance they need. This makes it easier for patients to trust the process and commit to the treatment options and goals.
Some symptoms belong to more than one condition
While most diseases are clear-cut, mental illnesses are a bit trickier. A lot of conditions share similar symptoms, which makes the diagnosis more difficult. Therefore, the patient should consult another physician if they display symptoms that belong to several conditions. Yes, it can be a long process, but at the end of the day, the patient can trust they have a correct diagnosis and the treatment plan suitable for them.
Having the opportunity to explore different treatment options
Everyone reacts differently to the same treatment. What works for a patient might not work for another. This is when trying treatment options from another doctor is a good option. Whether it is coping tools or prescription medication, getting a second opinion can go a long way in the journey to optimal health.
Patients should follow their instinct. If the body is disagreeing with what a particular healthcare provider recommends, it is a good idea to seek a second medical opinion. Patients are encouraged to collect any relevant information that might help Dr. Seif understand the full extent of the patient’s case and history.