What should I ask when seeking a second opinion if I have diabetes?


When searching for a physician to provide a second ­opinion, first ask your physician or a healthcare professional you trust. Look for a doctor who is board certified in the field in which you are seeking information, such as cardiology, surgery, or endocrinology. One option is to call the appropriate department of a major medical center or teaching hospital and ask for the name of a specialist in the field.

Questions to Ask When You Get a Second Opinion

  • What is the diagnosis and how was it determined?
  • What treatments are available and which are most effective? Most risky? Most commonly used?
  • What treatment do you suggest and why?
  • What is the success rate for this treatment?
  • Is the condition reversible?
  • What are the potential side effects and complications of the treatment and how likely are they?
  • Is the problem or treatment likely to affect my blood glucose levels?
  • Will the treatment require hospitalization? For how long? Will I need follow-up care?
  • Are there any additional costs associated with this treatment, such as repeated blood tests, physical therapy, or postoperative nursing care?
  • Is this an experimental treatment? Will I be participating in research? Will I be part of a placebo/control group or will I receive treatment?
  • If this is experimental treatment, you may need to evaluate the potential risks and make sure they do not outweigh the benefits. If this is a research protocol, are more conventional treatments available should this one fail?

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.