It was a welcome call from the Midwest: “Dr. Turek, thank you very much! We took your advice and it worked! My wife is pregnant.” Nice thing to hear from someone that I had never actually met. They had simply asked for my opinion. The first of many telemedicine pregnancies at The Turek Clinic.
The Second Opinion
For over 4 years running, I have offered “Second Opinion Consults” to patients. It is popular, easily saving airfare and a hotel stay in San Francisco. It’s also genuinely successful. Select this option and a whole series of events occurs, beginning with a request to have the entirety of your medical records sent to us for review. A long patient health questionnaire is then sent to you in which I comb through your life in detail, asking whether you have pain, recent fevers, how many air miles you travel, how much caffeine you drink, and how often you take baths or go tubbing. Biopsy slides, X-rays and ultrasounds are also reviewed. The Opinion is then formally prepared with the intensity of a legal brief with a single-minded goal: to take your care where no one has taken it before.
Solving the Riddle
Second Opinions are fun for me. They are medical riddles with real-life answers. Several principles underlie the riddle solving:
- Organized information leads to rationale thinking and decision making
- A single explanation is more likely to be correct than two (Occam’s Razor)
- Common things occur commonly.
For example, by simply viewing semen analysis data over time, it’s amazing what relevant patterns unfold. Environmental exposures come to life. The effects of medications become obvious. Pathways of care emerge from utter confusion that can send patients in a whole new direction.
Why Get a Second Opinion?
Here are some reasons to consider a Second Opinion Consult:
- There is just not a good “fit” between you and your current care provider.
- Your doctor’s answer to the question “What should we do now?” is a shoulder shrug.
- Your personal research suggests that your care has been based on decade-old (or older) knowledge.
- What you’ve been told doesn’t make complete sense. You just don’t feel like your story is all that confusing and would like another set of eyes to ponder it.
- Medicine is part art and part science, and the quality of the art can vary widely. Maybe you don’t like the picture that was painted for you.
- You are not getting questions about your care answered to your satisfaction.
As Samuel Coleridge once said: “Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” Be happy to help. Simply contact us at anytime from your favorite armchair.