When people in Washington experience discomforting health symptoms, many rely on their doctors to provide a diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Even though medical professionals must complete specific educational requirements, they are not immune to making mistakes.

People who implement measures of their own to protect their health and well-being may avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice. One way they can protect themselves is by seeking a second opinion.

Second opinions provide clarity

Many people seek a second opinion only when their diagnosis is disheartening. However, AARP suggests that people ask for a second opinion regardless of the outcome of test results. If the purpose for seeking medical care is regarding a serious health inquiry, whether any test results or the diagnosis is positive or negative, a second opinion may provide additional insight and clarity. In fact, a study revealed 37 percent of people who received a second opinion ultimately altered the course of their treatment.

Second opinions may catch mistakes

Verywellhealth.com suggests that people pay close attention to their gut feeling in helping them to determine the necessity for a second opinion. If they doubt the validity of the information shared by their doctor, a second opinion may rule out the confusion and provide peace of mind. Getting a second opinion from another medical professional may protect patients from medical malpractice by catching diagnosing errors. It may also help patients to make more confident decisions regarding a course of action for their treatment by providing insight about alternative solutions, especially if their initial diagnosis required invasive surgery or treatment.