Getting a second opinion for your child’s treatment or surgery?

A second opinion is when you visit another doctor, medical specialist or healthcare professional to ask for their opinion on the care of your child. It may feel awkward to ask for a second opinion for your child’s care, but it is a common request. However, it is best to ask your doctor for a referral, especially if they have your child’s medical test results and records. These can help make it easier for the second doctor to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment for your child. It may also save you the expense of having to retake the medical tests.

If you wish to get a second opinion for your child:

  • Explain to your current doctor or specialist that you need to consider your options would like advice from another doctor. Most doctors know it is the right thing to grant this request.

  • Request your doctor to write a referral to see another doctor or specialist. You may nominate your choice or you can ask the doctor for a recommendation.

  • Ask your doctor to give your child’s medical history, including test results, to the referred doctor or specialist.

  • Some healthcare professionals do not require a referral from your doctor and you have the right to organise an appointment with them without involving your current doctor if you wish. However, if possible, take any test results or scans with you.

An important part of caring for your child is you as a parent being involved in making informed decisions about their treatment, and being honest with your healthcare team. It is perfectly fine to ask your doctor more questions and ask for a second opinion so you can fully understand your child’s health issue and treatment option.

Have you ever found yourself needing a second opinion? How did it go? Any notable experiences? Get to our comment section and tell us all about it!

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