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‘Doctor should help a patient to get second opinion’ – Eminent physician
Legendary physician and medical educator, Dr. Marshall Wolf, – on challenges facing patients when trying to find the best physician for their medical problem:
The problem I have with patients searching [for physicians to consult with], they often are less capable of identifying the person they should talk to than their physician. So if, you know, in your medical center, if you saw a person with a rare heart problem, which is not your field, you would know, which of the cardiologists in your center you wanted to talk to about where that patient should be sent or who he should be seen by. A patient going to the computer may not end up and in that same place. So I think the physician should help the patient and the physician should be comfortable, if the patient says, “Could I have a second opinion?”, saying, “Sure, I’ll find you somebody.” I had patients who occasionally would say that to me and I would be glad to help them find somebody else to talk to. But also it’s very hard for patients without very specialized both knowledge and experience to find the right expert for their condition. That’s the doctor’s job! That’s the doctor’s job! And then the doctor… you know, if I saw a patient and the patient said, “I’m really worried about what’s going on, and I know this isn’t your area of expertise. Is there somebody I could see?” – I would help the patient do that! I often did! Actually, it was more often that I would say, “I think you ought to see somebody else” than the patient would say it. That’s my job!