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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Patient-initiated second opinions: systematic review of characteristics and impact on diagnosis, treatment, and satisfaction.

Payne VL, Singh H, Meyer AND, et al. Mayo Clinic Proc. 2014;89(5):687-696.

Patients with an unclear diagnosis or treatment plan often consider asking for a second opinion from another clinician. This systematic review found a limited body of literature addressing the outcomes of second opinions, but discovered evidence that some proportion of patients (ranging from 10% to 62% across studies) do receive different advice on diagnosis or treatment from a second clinician. According to another recent study (not included in this review), more than 40% of patient-initiated second opinions result in a change in diagnosis or treatment recommendations.