After diagnosis, don’t be shy about challenging what you’ve been told

10:01 11 November in Health

Learning your diagnosis is a serious medical condition can be life-changing. Here are some steps you can take to maintain your sense of well-being.   

Step 1 – Ask for the facts

Be sure to ask for the medical facts and expert evaluations related to your diagnosis, that you need. Don’t be shy. If you feel confused, in doubt or would simply like to confirm your diagnosis or treatment plan, consider a second (or third) medical opinion from a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, which WorldCare can provide to you from The WorldCare Consortium®. Remember: Your road to wellness does not have to end with your doctor’s initial diagnosis.

Step 2 – Take charge of your health

Taking charge of your health, by asking for what you need, can ease stress and boost confidence. That’s true when it comes to getting your medical needs met in the moment and when it comes to having the facts and evaluations related to your diagnosis so that you and your doctor can make well-informed decisions about your care.

Step 3 – Be the squeaky wheel

Don’t be afraid to be the “squeaky wheel.” Your health is the top priority right now for you and for your healthcare practitioners. Getting all the facts — as well as an expert evaluation of them — matters.  As a woman with ovarian cancer told Yale researchers, learning more about her diagnosis and treatment was calming and comforting. She knew what to expect going forward. “I had more of a handle on things, and my family had time to get used to things a little bit, how different it was going to be and what the time frame was.”

Step 4 – Tap into experts

One alternative that cuts through the confusing and time-consuming work of finding a specialist for a medical second opinion is the multi-disciplinary medical second opinion provided by WorldCare. Members of WorldCare’s Medical Hub guide you every step of the way – identifying the best team of experts to evaluate your case, working with you and your doctor to gather medical records, images and test results. A team of specialist physicians from several fields collaborate, reviewing your records and delivering a detailed report to you and your doctor. Phone consults with your doctor are also available.

“Complicated diseases require interdisciplinary teams of doctors with different backgrounds,” says Richard Heinzl, MD, Global Medical Director, WorldCare. “It’s unusual for a primary care physician to be an expert in every part of the body. By accessing medical second opinions they can extend their knowledge and learn from the specialists at the same time.”

Step 5 – Take the next steps

Continue to learn everything you can about your diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment. And request a medical second opinion if you feel you need to know more in order to make an informed decision about care for a serious medical condition.

To find out more about medical second opinions from WorldCare’s teams of experts and how your employer or insurer can offer them to you, contact us.