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Second opinions

I am often consulted for a second opinion regarding treatment options for various gynecological issues. This is absolutely appropriate. Patients should actively seek different opinions on something as important as your health management, especially if it may involve surgery. Unfortunately, many patients are reluctant to do this. Why?

I am told that patients do not want to upset their primary ob/gyn. That since their ob/gyn delivered their children, they trust them completely.

While I absolutely believe trust is an important aspect of a health care relationship, there are often multiple ways to accomplish the same outcome, and these should be explored. I often joke that some patients do more research selecting what cable tv package they will order than what surgeon will operate on them. I hope that is because the public, in general, has a high view of physicians and correctly assumes that we are all competent and well trained in our field. However, like in most fields, ob/gyn has many areas of sub-specialization (hormonal management, menopause, surgery, high risk obstetrics) to name a few. We all have different areas on which we concentrate our practices.

If you are considering surgery:

Discuss all options with at least two providers.

Ask your friends who have had similar issues for their thoughts and recommendations.

Do your due dilegence and research your surgeons on line, and in the community.

Do not be afraid to ask the question: "If I was your wife or yourself, who would you want to do this surgery and why?"


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