People should check with their health insurance provider to make sure the cost of a second opinion is covered. They should also ask about and follow any special procedures for getting a second opinion.
People can ask their doctor to recommend another doctor or specialist. Most doctors welcome another opinion. However, the second doctor should not be a close associate of the first because they may share the same perspective. If people do not feel comfortable asking their doctor, they may be able to ask another doctor they trust. If not, university teaching hospitals, specialty medical societies (such as the American College of Surgeons), or insurance providers can often provide names of doctors. Although some people may not be comfortable asking their doctor about a second opinion, honestly and politely talking about why a second opinion may be helpful and asking for the most appropriate referral may improve communication and lead to better decisions.