Second opinion?

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Often it is difficult to understand the terminology and know what questions to ask. With over 15 years of intensive experience as General Practitioner behind me, I know that for all sorts of reasons, many patients are confused by the information they receive. This is not necessarily anyone's fault and often reflects the complexity of medical practice. Often the information presented and the choices offered are simply overwhelming.

What was originally recommended, and the course patients are currently on, may well be the best option. However, patients might feel more comfortable knowing they have further explored the options.

Although a lot of information is available from printed sources or is now on the Internet, knowledge management research shows there is no substitute for the knowledge inside the mind of a professionally qualified person. In my experience, obtaining an independent second opinion can be a very useful exercise, particularly if the condition and therapy is complex. At Hampton Holistic General Practice, I will assist patients to access and evaluate their health care options and where appropriate will refer on to other health professionals.

Some Examples
• A person was very concerned about a cancer returning, and had been told that blood tests were not available to monitor for this. A search of the electronic literature yielded an article from a reputable medical journal which suggested that a particular combination of blood tests gave a 60% chance of detecting recurrence. The patient took the information back to the specialist.

• The need for repeated ear drum surgery was quite distressing to a patient. On questioning, it was apparent that allergy testing had never been considered. Hay fever and poor neighbourhood air quality seemed to be contributing to sinus and middle ear congestion - specialist referral was arranged.

• With simple assistance a patient sought a second neurological opinion. The second surgeon performed a much simpler procedure on the patient's neck problem than suggested by the first surgeon, resulting in a quick recovery.

Areas Covered
A second medical opinion can be offered on most conditions, including
• Heart disease
• Blood pressure and diseases of the circulation
• Cancer
• Infertility and other Gynaecological conditions
• Any long standing, ‘chronic’, serious or life threatening condition
• Any condition requiring surgery including plastic surgery
• Naturopathic, herbal, mind-body and other natural treatments (via an evidence based approach)