Is the doctor really always right? Is it okay to question the expert? If you have worried that something was wrong even though the doc reassured you that it wasn’t, you are not alone. Dr. Michelle Yagoda, expert facial plastic surgeon, and voice care specialist, has had thousands of different patients come through her doors over the last twenty years. With these patients come stories! A recurring story line is one that has a very important lesson in it: Trust your gut.
Each of us is a patient, and most of us have learned to trust our doctors because of their expertise and knowledge of medicine. However, this does not mean that your opinion as a patient doesn’t matter. Here’s an example of when you should trust your intuition: As a person with sensitive skin, a young man worried that the recurring scabbing on his skin might be cancer. The doctor told him it was “nothing”, but he wasn’t comfortable and chose to get a second opinion. The second doctor prescribed a topical exfoliant. He used it despite his concerns, but the abrasion did not go away. It was only with the patient’s insistence that it was biopsied, but he never received follow-up results. Rather than believing his friends and family’s suggestion that “no news is good news,” he eventually gave in to the nagging feeling plaguing him and called the doctor’s office. The answer? Skin cancer. Luckily, it was caught early and was successfully removed.
Dr. Yagoda believes that one can never be too cautions. You know your body and skin, and your opinion counts. Skincare and sun protection are of the utmost importance. Check your skin often. If you believe something is wrong, see a specialist who has the level of knowledge you’d expect, and never underestimate the power of reviews. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion! And, as Dr. Yagoda is frequently heard saying, “No news is no news. That’s it. Plain and simple.” If you don’t get a call about the results of a test or biopsy, call the office to follow-up. And, most importantly, trust your gut. No one knows you better than you!