Fall 2014Health tips

Peace of mind in a second opinion

You’ve met with your doctor, and now you’ve got to make a tough decision about your troubling diagnosis. Feel uncertain? Then don’t rush it: get a second opinion. But this step, too, may seem daunting. Do you discuss a referral with your own doctor? What if you have to find the second physician by yourself?

According to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, a referral may shorten your waiting time, but in general, long waiting times can be an obstacle in getting a second opinion. (To read the article, visit cmaj.ca and type “Among medicine’s most enduring myths” in the search field.)

To take some of the guesswork out of the process, the JGH Patient & Family Resource Centre can guide you to some reliable resources:

  • A guide from HealthLinkBC explains how to get a second opinion and then what to do. Visit healthlinkbc.ca and type “Getting a second opinion” in the search field.
  • A pamphlet by the Canadian Cancer Society explores the development of good relationships with the healthcare professionals in your team. Go to cancer.ca and type “Working with your healthcare team” in the search field.
  • For situations where a child has cancer, visit cancer.ca type “Getting a second opinion and changing doctors” in the search field.
  • The Canadian Cancer Society also provides a toll-free information service at 1‑888-939-3333, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or at info@cis.cancer.ca.

For more information on good health, or to make an appointment with a JGH librarian for help in finding reliable, up-to-date information on even hard-to-research subjects, visit the Patient and Family Resource Centre at: jgh.ca/PFRC.

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