A second opinion does not have to be awkward and is not offensive to the doctor

get a second opinion_C.F.-05.23.13.jpg

Not convinced by your vascular surgeon's diagnosis or advice? Do not let asking your doctor for a second opinion intimidate you. There are many reasons why you may want to see another Consulting Specialist.

  • You may be frustrated with the time it is taking your present specialist to diagnose your ailment.
  • You may lose faith in your Consulting Specialist after feeling as though you are being pushed into a specific operation or procedure before you are ready.
  • You may feel that the specialist is not responding to  your concerns appropriately.

Studies show that good doctor patient relations are critical to satisfactory health outcomes to be realized. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients  are encouraged to build a sharing relationship with their Nephrologist, Consulting Specialist, and other healthcare team members in which the patient should make the decisions if they are willing and able.   

It might appear offensive to some to ask for a second opinion. But it is not! Asking for a second opinion may not be a legal right but most Nephrologists or Specialist will be happy to help you get one. If s/he's not supportive then that is a red flag which means you most definitely need a second opinion, if not an entirely different doctor.

Often times your Consulting Specialist will be so supportive of a second opinion that he will offer to refer you to a friend or colleague. Your reply to that offer should be, "Thanks, but no thanks." Your goal should be to get the most objective opinion about your medical condition and treatment options as possible. Doctors tend to refer patients to their friends and acquaintances, and even colleagues in their same practice. And Doctors are just like the rest of us human beings; they loathe to contradict a friend or colleague. Hence, if your Consulting Specialist recommends a colleague, there is too good of a chance that you would not get the objective information you are seeking.

If you in fact do choose to see a second Consulting Specialist, ask your Nephrologist who they would recommend. You can also search yourself by consulting a variety of resources such as, getting a list of candidates from your insurer, going online to a doctor ratings websites, or ask other patients about doctors who have helped them.

KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to seek a second opinion and create open communication with all of your healthcare professionals. Especially your doctors should not feel that it is a failure on their part for a patient to ask for an opinion from someone else. After all it is the patients illness not the doctors.


Dillner, Luisa. "Second Medical Opinions Needn't Be Awkward." The Guardian.

"Finding a Second Opinion Doctor." About.com Patient Empowerment.

Recommended Reading:

How should the Kidney Patient Pick A Nephrologist?
Dialysis Patients should Insist that Staff follow protocols to Reduce Acquired Infections New Blog