“I’m afraid to ask for a second opinion, what if my doctor thinks I’m not satisfied?” This is part of a conversation I had with a friend whose son probably has a very rare metabolic disease. Strange how her feelings of loyalty get in the way of asking for the care that she and her son need at this moment. But I can totally relate, because many healthcare professionals will feel a little degraded when their patients ask for a second opinion – and this may be even more so in case of mental healthcare – even though the “click” between patient and caregiver plays an important role in the process of getting better. You might even say it explains a part of getting better – some research says it’s one of the most important factors in healing. A second opinion isn’t the same as a “click” with the caregiver, but it is related. If you take this into account, wouldn’t it be good if everyone automatically got a “second caregiver”? “Please go and find someone with whom you click better”.
This will not be an option for every patient, especially in psychiatric care. It’s quite impractical. It might seem expensive. But most of all it makes healthcare professionals vulnerable. And this last bit is the most problematic. How can we create an atmosphere in which healthcare professionals and patients feel safe enough to mention the click?
If we live in a culture where click is vital for all contact with others, a second opinion based on click will be a piece of cake. And no, healthcare will not become more expensive – on the contrary.
A bog by Renske Visscher