Dr. Ronan Kavanagh's excellent story -- An Unexpected Second Opinion of Rheumatoid Arthritis -- offers a useful lesson for Healthy Survivors: With time and experience, people become better at making the correct diagnosis. Let's look at this lesson more closely.
Imagine you continue to have a medical problem after your problem has been evaluated, diagnosed and treated. Don't throw your hands up in despair.
You may benefit from having the same problem evaluated again, even by the same physician. This time your physician may see something differently, in large part because your problem did not respond to therapy. Or partly because this time you tell the story a little differently, having lived with the problem longer.
Let's say you continue to have an emotional, social or practical problem between office visits, despite having spent time figuring out what is going on and determining the best approach to the problem. Again, don't just accept this as your "new normal." Not yet, anyway.
If you step back and re-evaluate the problem, you may see the same challenge in new ways, thanks to additional education and experiences that increased your fund of knowledge. Or thanks to your evolved life philosophy and coping skills.
Since Healthy Survivorship is always a work-in-progress, second opinions play an important role in getting good care and living as fully as possible throughout survivorship.