Ask for a second opinion? I will look stupid!
Patients perceive of their providers as smarter rather than stupid when they look for collaboration. Often the response is that "two heads are better than one." There are multiple studies over the last decade attesting to increased satisfaction. There have been a couple of articles which legitimately criticize methodology, particularly because surveys from investigator to investigator are self made and inconsistent.
It is our experience over the past two decades, that a telemedicine collaboration is not only appreciated, it is expected. Anything less is perceived of as disinterest.
Why? We are all aware of the explosion of knowledge. For instance. how many of you have read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica? That is a lot of information. but look at this graphic. Wikipedia, alone, is equal to 1624 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Representation of how many volumes placed in library stacks would equal Wikipedia.
There is more to this discussion than voluminous knowledge, though. SEARCH can substitute for memorization. Collaboration allows interpretation, interchange, and uses human creativity to build upon data alone.
Take this trivia question: What fruit has the most vitamin C? Simple right? Orange or Lemon? With our shrinking world there is another whole set of choices that as North Americans we did not grow up with. (To our international readers... please don't tell the answer!).
How about Guava? That anwer can still be searched. But we find there is more to the question. What did boiling do to the Vitamin C? How much of it is bioavailable. What assay should be used. Now the answer is more than data, it really should have some expert opinion. You should have a chance to question and examine the answer. You need to collaborate.
The answer: Guava has 183mg VitaminC/100 gm. At least that is one answer. Did we consider the source, preparation, acceptance. What would you feed the well know sailor with scurvy? By the way: an Orange has 53mg and a Lemon only 46mg/100 grams.
You might want to examine the source and ask an expert. It's OK, none of us can know everything or even enough! We just have to try to do the right thing.
That right thing gives health care providers the same satisfaction.