Do first opinions affect second opinions? Academic Article uri icon


  • Background Second medical opinions have become commonplace and even mandatory in some health-care systems, as variations in diagnosis, treatment or prognosis may emerge among physicians. Objective To evaluate whether physicians' judgment is affected by another medical opinion given to a patient. Design Orthopedic surgeons and neurologists filled out questionnaires presenting eight hypothetical clinical scenarios with suggested treatments. One group of physicians (in each specialty) was told what the other physician's opinion was (study group), and the other group was not told what it was (control group). Participants A convenience sample of 332 physicians in Israel: 172 orthopedic surgeons (45.9% of their population) and 160 neurologists (64.0% of their population). Measurements Scoring was by choice of less or more interventional treatment in the scenarios. We used …

publication date

  • January 1, 2012