Question and Answer– Do I Need Another Doctor?

Question: My doctor says I have rosacea but when I checked online medical   photos,  my skin did not  look at all like those  pictures.  Should I get another doctor?

Answer:  There are  actually two parts to this question:

1) How accurate are online medical photos?

2) When should I get a second opinion?

Online medical photos can be pretty lurid.  When I was looking to illustrate my series on sensitive skin, I had to be careful to avoid scaring  small children.  Medical illustrations usually feature full blown  disease states.   Early stages or mild cases  often look very differrent.  It may be that you are comparing your  newly diagnosed rosacra with long term, wide spread rosacea– are fortunately your complexion issues are not as severe or advanced.

Try the suggested treatment for two weeks.  If there is no  improvement you have two options– go back  to the same MD and ask for a different approach or make an appointment  with a different dermatologist.

The decision to try another doctor is often rooted  more in  personality than performance.  We all need ( and deserve) medical professionals  who are accessible, and willing to explain to you what is  happening to your body and  how the treatments are designed to work.  You should feel comfortable asking questions– lots of them.  Once  you leave   the office, if you have questions or  new issues, your MD should get back to  you within a day.  

One final thought.  Many of us need to go to physicians on our health care plans and this may limit  choices.  While it does decrease options, there are still plenty of   professionals available.  I’ve always found that nurses are the best judge of a physicians’ skill levels.  Ask  nurses in your plan, not who they recommend, but who THEY actually go to for  skin care  issues.  I learned the approach when my oldest  daughter was born and I needed a new pediatrician.  Now she has two children of her own and its still   a great way to  find good doctors.

2 thoughts on “Question and Answer– Do I Need Another Doctor?

  1. I love the idea of making sure to get a 2nd and even a 3rd opinion when dealing with health issues. People often forget that they need to put themselves first, and that it is their right to seek out the best solution for their particular problem.

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