The research looked at almost 300 patients who visited Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for a second opinion after receiving an initial diagnosis from a primary care physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Of the patients included in the study, 12% received the same diagnosis and 22% received a “distinctly different” diagnosis. The remaining 66% of patients received a more precise and detailed version of their initial diagnosis by seeking out additional advice.
A report done in 2015 by the National Academy of Medicine notes that many misdiagnoses are due to diagnostic error, which is "a relatively under-measured and understudied aspect of patient safety." The research done at Mayo Clinic cited that these diagnostic errors “contribute to approximately 10% of patient deaths.”
Doctors suggest taking the time and money to obtain a second opinion when the patient’s initial diagnosis is "a serious condition, such as cancer" or requires extensive or risky treatment, like surgery.
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