Best Doctors has just released a new infographic that brings into focus some of the numbers around expert medical second opinions. Some key points I’d like to highlight—
More than a third of cases see some type of change made to the diagnosis, and well above two-thirds of cases have some shift in treatment. The changes could be modest or they could be massive, but behind them all is the peace of mind in knowing that the diagnosis or treatment is the right one.
Also, we track the reasons why people seek a second opinion in the first place, and most interesting to me are the two least common reasons: patients having no diagnosis and being skeptical of their doctors. For most people, it’s not that they mistrust their specialists or haven’t been able to get a diagnosis – it’s just that they want to be absolutely sure.
Finally, pathology reviews by experts. Most second opinion services are not equipped to re-review pathology samples, but Best Doctors is, and it happens for 1 in 5 cases. Of the cases with a pathology review, 1 in 4 produces a different result. That’s 5% of all cases, but 25% of cases with pathology samples, and a different result could be as significant as a change in cancer diagnosis, so it’s hard to overstate the importance of getting it right.
What numbers and findings stand out to you?