“What should I look for in a Neurosurgeon or Interventional Radiologist?” This is a common question many patients have as they are gaining more knowledge, and it is an answer people need to decide for themselves. As you seek out medical advice for your care, always remember it is every patient’s right to feel comfortable with his or her decision.
For some patients that may mean only one opinion, but others benefit from a diversity of opinions or providers. It is important for patients and caregivers to truly understand their options, and it is the responsibility of health care providers to be honest and forthcoming of medical options. Never hesitate to seek out a second or even third opinion; the more providers who look at your case, the more information you will have to determine the best decision.
Should you trust an online review when seeking out another physician? Always consider the source. Patients need to interpret online reviews in a balanced and thoughtful way. Misunderstanding a doctor review can be a serious detriment.
The best decision is made from the patient who is well-informed. Here are some questions that may be beneficial for you to ask when speaking to a physician about your case:
- What is your experience with aneurysms/AVMs?
- Where was your training and education?
- How many aneurysm/AVM procedures do you perform in a year?
- May I have a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV)?
- What is your complication rate? What is the national average?
- What hospital(s) are you affiliated with?
- How long will I ave to wait for an appointment after I call?
- If I call with a question, what is the turnaround time for a response?
- Who covers for you while you are away?
By obtaining a second opinion, you help ensure that you have been diagnosed appropriately and that you will receive the most appropriate and optimal treatment plan. This can provide you with significant reassurance, peace of mind and confidence that you are making the best choice for your health.
Remember to always check with your health insurer on their policy for second and third opinions.