How do you know when to trust one doctor's diagnosis over another?

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After years of dealing with doctors in various specialties, I have come to realize that they don't have all the answers. Ask 3 doctors an opinion and get 3 answers. They seem to work through a process of elimination in their diagnosis. How do you know when to trust one diagnosis over another?

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
I’ve noticed the same thing. In my opinion is seems like doctors make ‘safe’ decisions. Safe for them and their malpractice insurance that is. The best way to deal with this is to ask questions. “OK doc, if we do it, then what?”, “And what happens after that?”, “Have you seen this in the past?” In today’s world we need to work with medical professionals in a way that gets them thinking about our loved ones problems. Ultimately, treatment options become our call and responsibility. So ask as many questions to each of the three doctors, and seek a forth if necessary, so you can make a decision and move forward.
My answer is to research it myself. Most doctors Ive found are in the business of disease management and not trying to make you well. They are way more worried about malpractice than their patients and are usually not up to date on current medicine. Take thyroid for example, the guidelines for testing it by TSH were changed in 2003 and five years later most doctors and labs are still not using the current guidelines. 15 million people with hypothyroidism are going to suffer undiagnosed because they are so far behind, or so the estimate goes.
Most doctors are "drug dispensers". I agree the best way is to do the research yourself. The older a person gets, the LESS drugs they should take. Their bodies cannot tolerate the drugs as well as younger people and they are more likely to suffer most of the side effects of the drugs. The more drugs they take, the more side effects they get and the more side effects they get the more drugs they get. It is vicious cycle. Most of the time the cons will outway the pros with the drugs patients receive.
I have taken care of both my elderly parents and I know for a fact that less is better. The less drugs they take the healthier they are.
I have found that the best doctors prescribe the least amount of drugs. If a doctor does not explain all the pros and cons of a drug, beware!
One of the best books I have ever read on the issue is How Doctor's Think. It was fascinating and made me very proactive in my grandmother's care. They are not God by any stretch of the imagination - it is an ART/not a Science. My OB/GYN told me that the first time I met him and he delivered 4 children after that. I appreciated his openness and I also want a doctor who will listen to the people who really know the patient - the caregiver, family member, friend - who notice the subtle changes and know that things are not right. Give this book a read to understand more of where they are coming from - it is written by a doctor. I listened to it on CD.
Top Answer
Although it's confusing and frustrating, I still think it's a great idea to get the second and third opinions. Good Luck.

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