You trust your primary physician, but a recent diagnosis or medical scare has left you quite concerned. You feel that getting a second medical opinion can help quell your anxiety but are not sure how to go about getting one without upsetting your doctor.

Get some insight from WebMD. Learn what steps to take and how to make the most of your efforts.

When to get a second opinion

Certain medical situations call for another opinion:

  • The medical procedure or option you have in mind involves new or experimental devices or equipment.
  • The recommended procedure is either harmful or risky.
  • You want to be part of a trial for a new drug.
  • Your diagnosis does not involve treatment approved by the FDA.

You may also want to think about getting a second opinion if your physician cannot give you a clear diagnosis.

How to communicate with your doctor about wanting a second opinion

You may be hesitant to do so, but tell your primary physician that you want a second opinion. The main reason is that you need your doctor to send over all your medical test results and records to whatever other facility or doctor you want to see next. Also, you want to open the lines of communication between your primary doctor and the professional offering a second opinion.

How to go about paying for a second opinion 

Covering the cost of a second opinion depends on your insurance plan. Look over your policy, and speak with your agent, but know that you may have an uphill battle when it comes to convincing your insurance provider to pay for a facility or doctor outside your current network.

Do you need a second opinion because your doctor misdiagnosed you or failed to diagnose you? In either situation, protect your rights by speaking with a medical malpractice legal professional.