Second Opinion Procedure when GMI is to write a detailed medical summary

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Initial Contact

Face-to-Face Consultations

  • Literature Review
  • Personalized Budget
Completion of Medical Summary

Optimal International Medical Expert

Submission of Second Opinion

Review of Second Opinion

Implementation

Follow-up Questions

STEP 1

INITIAL CONTACT

Every second opinion begins when a client and their family contact us and plan an initial consultation. Before we meet for the first time, we take a brief medical history over the phone and review available medical records, as well as *evidence-based best practices for your illness, according to top academic databases. Prior to the first meeting, we integrate information from your medical chart with best practices to reflect upon the most important issues in your case and identify critical medical questions that should be considered.

*Evidence-based best practices are international guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of a disease that are based on the most recent research and literature.

FACE-TO-FACE SECOND OPINION CONSULTATION

After initial contact, a face-to-face consultation is scheduled, during which we obtain a detailed medical history and ask specific questions relevant to evidence-based best practice guidelines. We feel that it is important that medical records are supplemented with a careful face-to-face history when a medical summary is to be written for your second opinion. This face-to-face meeting allows us to begin to develop a relationship with you and your family and serves as the foundation for your medical summary.

Literature Review
As part of this initial face-to-face consultation, we also provide you with articles which explain evidence-based best practice guidelines, and highlight opportunities for optimizing your treatment. We address the specific medical questions and concerns that you wish addressed in your second opinion and explain the questions we would like answered based upon review of the literature/evidence based best practice guidelines. These articles can be highly technical and we take the time to explain them to you, if you wish.

Personalized Budget
A personalized budget is created for every second opinion. It includes the following key elements:

  • Identification of the documents that require translation and related costs
  • Estimated cost of writing the medical summary and finding the leading international medical expert to review your case
  • Cost for review by the international medical expert(s) including re-read of key imaging studies

At this stage, we provide a range of options and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as the estimated expenses. We answer any questions you may have about our recommendations and agree upon a budget.

STEP 2

COMPLETION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL SUMMARY

During this phase of your second opinion, the focus is on completing the medical summary and preparing questions for the international medical expert. GMI writes this summary and advises you on which expert to select, but it is the expert who provides your second opinion. The medical summary is written based upon the medical information collected during the face-to-face consultation, as well as review of the journal. We cross reference the medical chart and patient history, in order to ensure that we create a comprehensive and accurate medical summary.

Once the medical summary is complete, we ask you to review the summary carefully and provide critical feedback. Reviewing the entire history and finalizing the questions together serves as an excellent opportunity for client education. The medical summary contains an itemized list of all diagnostic tests, including the ones that will not be translated and sent with the second opinion, this allows the international medical expert to request any additional items they deem necessary.

In most cases, we need to meet once or twice in order to finalize the medical summary, refine the second opinion questions and finalize selection of the international medical expert. When submitting a second opinion, in addition to providing a highly relevant, detailed and accurate medical summary, it is essential to ask highly sophisticated questions which push the international medical expert to consider key issues related to evidence-based practice, while also highlighting your key concerns.

SELECTION OF THE OPTIMAL INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL EXPERT

Within our team, we have a particularly strong affiliation with Harvard Medical School and the affiliated hospitals. We are typically able to offer several options at an affordable price within our network, but we also have extensive experience and connections outside of this network. In our work to-date, we have had great success conducting second opinions with medical experts in numerous different countries. Ultimately, it is your needs and desires which drive our recommendations – we are committed to finding the expert who is the best fit for you.

Clients with rare diseases or very specific questions about a common disease most often need a medical second opinion from a physician who has vast research experience in that particular area. Whereas in other situations, the institution with which the physician is associated plays an important role in our recommendations. In some cases, an in-person visit with the international medical expert may prove necessary. In those situations, Global Medical Intelligence can help arrange and attend such meetings abroad. In each case, we talk to you and your family in detail about the different options available to you and help you carefully consider the cost, pros and cons and logistics. Ultimately, we agree on a plan and put together a package that will best serve your needs, budget and preferences.

SUBMISSION OF SECOND OPINION REPORT

Once the medical summary and questions are finalized and the international medical expert is selected, we submit everything together. The length of time it takes to get a response varies significantly, but we can typically go from an initial face to face consultation to a response within three to four weeks.

STEP 3

REVIEW OF SECOND OPINION

Once Global Medical Intelligence has received the written second opinion report, we send the report to you and arrange a meeting after you have reviewed it. You can ask questions about anything you do not understand, and we always explain the significance of the report with respect to your treatment options and care. We frequently attend doctor appointments to help present the second opinion report. We recommend that you email the report to your doctor in advance, so that he/she has a chance to review it prior to our meeting.

IMPLEMENTATION OF SECOND OPINION

You are always welcome to show your second opinion report to your doctor yourself. However, in many situations, you may want us to join you when presenting the second opinion report to your treating physician. Our experience has been that treating physicians are often receptive and open to the second opinion recommendations. We find that by taking a diplomatic and harmonious approach, and engaging in an evidence-based discussion of the second opinion report, it helps negotiate the best path forward. Our goal is to facilitate meaningful implementation. This is not about getting a piece of paper from an expert, it’s about using their recommendations to improve your medical care and overall health.

FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS

There are typically a few follow-up questions generated from the second opinion report. These questions are submitted to the leading international medical expert. Continued, detailed client education and support is provided throughout the medical second opinion process.

What is a Second Opinion?

A medical second opinion is an additional medical opinion, from someone other than your treating physician, which offers another perspective on your medical care and treatment. It could take the form of anything from an informal discussion with a health care professional to a comprehensive review of your entire medical history by highly-specialized expert.

At Global Medical Intelligence, we recognize that our clients and their families seek second opinions for different reasons, and customize each second opinion accordingly. However different every second opinion may be, there is one constant. A successful second opinion stems from a rigorous and detailed understanding of your medical condition and treatment course.

In order to give you a medical second opinion, it is critically important that we understand all aspects of your medical history, as well as the challenges you have faced. This enables us to provide you with leading international medical experts who understand how to best optimize your care and explain the cutting-edge advances in medicine which will make a difference. In the end, this is why our process is as rigorous as it is and our results as dramatic as they are. In 8 out of 10 of our second opinions we identify new evidence based treatment opportunities for our clients.