A second opinion is an extremely useful tool for both patients and doctors

A second opinion is an extremely useful tool for both patients

When there are discrepancies between two expert interpreters, the patients have a right to obtain a second opinion. It is the patient’s prerogative, in case of divergent opinions, to deliberate and choose the option that is most suitable for him/her and that they believe is most consistent with their individual circumstances.  When a patient is hesitant or doubtful of the proposed treatment or advice, a second opinion always helps to confirm the same and proceed with the proposed plan of treatment.  Among the top hospitals of Bangalore, Altius Hospitals, is one where patients are made comfortable to seek second opinion.

Bottle-neck to seek a second opinion

The main barriers that prevent patients from seeking a second opinion is a sense of shock, the pressure of time, information overload, and fear of jeopardizing the patient-physician relationship. Thus, an effort from the healthcare giver to deliver any news is noteworthy.  It would include an informal consultation which can give the doctor an opportunity to gain insight into the patient’s understanding of his / her disease, encouragement to seek a second opinion, and scheduling a follow-up visit in order to respond to additional patient questions if any. This move can essentially develop the confidence of the patient.  At Altius Hospitals, we make sure that our patients get confident before the start of treatment.

A major drive to seek a second opinion is usually when the patient is dissatisfied with the first one.

Chances of a wrong diagnosis or a human error could be ruled out by second opinion programs which can in turn reduce the health impact.

According to a research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, up to 88% of second views for serious medical disorders led to significant revisions to the diagnosis or suggested course of therapy.

Even if a second opinion, confirms the initial diagnosis, most patients believe the second opinion to be valuable. Second opinions can potentially curtail the healthcare cost.  A second opinion is not to challenge the first one. It is seen that the morale of patients boost-up when the second opinion confirms the first, and may even get new information on potential treatment plans.

Yet, many patients still harbour the misconception that doctors may not like second opinions when there are in fact benefits across the patient-doctor relationship.  Altius Hospitals is one such hospital where we welcome any patient to seek second opinion and also encourage our patients if they want to go for a second opinion.

Beyond these benefits to patients, second opinions are newer avenues for doctors as well. These additional consultations can facilitate collaboration and offer a complete view that consultants in isolation may not have otherwise.

Second opinion may be considered in situations like before a critical elective surgery or treatment which is having a financial impact or high risk during the procedure/treatment, challenging diagnosis, rare disorders that have clinical importance for conditions where a definite diagnosis is not reached or unclear, challenging diagnosis, results not matching clinical presentation etc.

Virtual medicine has given access to these consultants and patients have now access to second opinions from the very best specialists from Hospitals like Altius Hospitals.


A second opinion is not to be viewed as a mark of suspicion about the initial opinion, but a more confirmatory process to any treatment for any illness. It is a fact-finding exercise. It boosts the patient’s confidence. Altius Hospitals, a multi-disciplinary facility have all the major specialties with experts who could be visited for a second opinion.