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What You Need to Know About Medical Second Opinion Services

A medical second opinion is a practice that nails down or rules out a diagnosis of a given condition. As the American medical system pushes millions of patients per year through medical groups, errors in diagnosis are adding up. In a recent study, CBS News reported that at least 12 million Americans - as many as 1 in 20 adult patients - are misdiagnosed each year.

Previous studies have focused on misdiagnoses in the hospital setting, but the BMJ quality and safety study suggests that many are misdiagnosed at the primary care level. More seriously, researchers are saying that 50% of these patients are being placed in harm’s way through misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Lastly, 20% of patients with severe conditions are misdiagnosed on the first pass.

What is Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose?

Patients need to have faith that they are receiving competent and accurate care. Doctors have a duty to provide competent care whenever they are acting as physicians - this duty of care includes recognizing health conditions and adequately diagnosing patients. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose not only impacts the patient’s faith in the medical system, but can destroy the trust of their family and friends.

There is a ripple effect that can ruin a career, a practice, and lives. Therefore, seeking a second opinion to forestall misdiagnosis should be a standard operating procedure where any doubt exists either with the physician or within the practice. To qualify as a failure to diagnose or issuing a misdiagnosis, a set of criteria must be met.

  1. There was a doctor-patient relationship at the time of the error.
  2. The doctor’s error in diagnosis was negligent.
  3. The patient suffered harm because of that negligence.

Get Backup

In Phoenix, diagnostic imaging services and x-ray second opinion services are provided by diagnostic x-ray consultation services. Diagnostic capabilities include interpretations of MRI, CT, plain film and digital motion x-rays, and musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound.

Dr. Gary Longmuir has over 30 years as a practicing physician with a specialty in radiology and chiropractic, with a Masters of Applied Science in musculoskeletal disease management, a postdoctoral dealership in magnetic resonance imaging, and a Ph.D. in public health epidemiology. Professional references are available upon request.

Protect your reputation and your practice, get backup, and request that second opinion.