The Powerful Impact of Medical Second Opinions

09:30 31 July in Diagnosis, doctor, Health, Medicine

A study published earlier this year from WorldCare Consortium® member Mayo Clinic found that more than 20 percent of patients who sought a second opinion had initially been misdiagnosed by their primary care providers.

The study found that only 12 percent of patients who asked specialists at WorldCare Consortium® Mayo Clinic to review their cases had received completely correct diagnoses. The rest of the diagnoses all differed in some aspect from the diagnoses of the Mayo doctors who performed the second opinion reviews. In 21 percent of patient cases, the second opinion indicated a “distinctly different” diagnosis from the first diagnosis, and in 67 percent of cases, the diagnoses were partly correct but “better defined/refined” by a second opinion.

Mark Graber, founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, who was not involved with the research study, commented on the findings, pointing out, “Diagnosis is extremely hard. There are 10,000 diseases and only 200 to 300 symptoms.”

With such a drastic number of imprecise diagnoses, the study highlights a troubling trend in diagnostic error and inaccuracy of initial medical consultations, while also showcasing the importance and necessity of a medical second opinion when diagnosed with a serious illness or complex condition. WorldCare’s medical second opinions, which utilize the knowledge and expertise of multi-disciplinary teams of specialists and subspecialists, have been trusted for over 24 years, changing diagnosis in 26 percent of cases reviewed and modifying treatment plans in 75 percent of cases reviewed.

For more information about the value and impact of WorldCare’s medical second opinions, please contact us.