Also found in: Acronyms.
Etymology: L, secundus + opinari, to suppose
a patient privilege of requesting an examination and evaluation of a health condition by a second physician to verify or challenge the diagnosis by a first physician. The situation is most likely to arise when an examination by a first physician results in a recommendation for surgery or experimental treatment.
Second OpinionFringe oncology
A group of professionals at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, who in 1977 pressured hospital administration to release studies performed at MSKCC on the inconclusive results regarding the efficacy of laetrile.
While some fringe oncology advocates believe the results to be a conspiracy—i.e., that mainstream medical practitioners are hiding the cure to cancer—peer-reviewed data shows laetrile to be ineffective as a cancer treatment and potentially toxic.
second opinionMedtalk Formal or informal advice sought from a 2nd health professional regarding the diagnosis and/or therapy proposed by a 1st provider. See Consultation.
An independent professional review and assessment of a patient done to confirm, add to, or revise the diagnoses and proposed treatments of another medical professional.