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Getting another opinion Getting another opinion

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  #1  
Unread 07-15-2005, 07:39 PM
Getting another opinion

OK gals, how did you manage it? I am talking about getting a second opinion. Not a referral from gyn to gyn/onc, but when you want another doctor to evaluate your case to make sure nothing has been missed.
I was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma following a routine hysterectomy. Was immediately sent to CT scan and referred to gyn/onc. Good news is that the uterus is out and there is no evidence of spread. However, there are some aspects of the diagnosis and treatment/monitoring plan that I would like reviewed by a doctor who specializes in sarcomas.
So I found one not too far away and called. Because he will mostly be reviewing test results and reports, they asked that I have the records sent over. They wont make an appointment for me until they hav them. Now, gyn/onc actually works out of another state, so I call the number and (as usual) get voice mail. I ask them to fax the records over and give them the number. I have no confidence that this will get done, so I will call again in a couple more days.
I have some reports (pathology and CT scan) tho it is from a defective fax and has streaks missing(lol) The ladies in my gyn's office got them for me but it took a good bit of prodding and waiting!
I had hoped new doctor could just call old doctor and get records - I bet they are a lot more responsive to another doc! Why do I feel I need degrees in medicine and recordkeeping to get this done?
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  #2  
Unread 07-15-2005, 07:59 PM
Getting another opinion

I had an identical experience. I made repeated calls to the doctor's office asking them to fax my records. It never happened. I finally went to the office - when I was still having difficulty getting around post-surgery - and picked them up myself and faxed them to the 2nd opinion doctor.

In fact I went with the 2nd doctor's chemo recommendation and was very glad I did. One of the factors in my decision was did I want to have my chemo treatments with an office that was so unresponsive and difficult to get in touch with.

From my experience, the best thing to do is go to your doctor's office and get a complete copy of your records. You should also get a copy of your CT scan. When I needed mine a few months later the first doctor's office couldn't locate their copy.

Good luck!
  #3  
Unread 07-15-2005, 11:56 PM
Getting another opinion

I agree with mimny...the one thing that saved me major headaches and gave me a sense of control was that I had requested my complete records to be released to myself; once I had them (and to get them in a timely manner, I had to actually break down in tears at the clerical office of one medical group ) it was easy to fax whatever a particular doctor needed. Plus, it's good to have a written record of the whole ordeal....you never know when a doctor needs to know something you've completely forgotten.
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  #4  
Unread 07-16-2005, 08:46 AM
Getting another opinion

I have lots of experience re getting med records sent from one doc to another. Often a newish FOIA law delays and confuses this. You may recall when you see a new doctor among the many forms you sign is one asking re release of records or treatment, etc.; what you indicate on this form regulates transfer of your med records at that office to another doctor, person, office.
As someone already has noted the easiest way to get your records is to the physically go to the doctors office or hospial records center and pick them yourself. If you cannot go in person to retreive them, depending upon what you indicated on your form, doctor's A's office may not be able to simply fax your records to doctor B's until they recieve from you (even via fax) a a signed statetment specifically asking them to release such and such document(s) or perhaps "all my documents" to Dr. B.; - they should be able to help you word your release statement. Sorry to be so longwinded and hope this is not too confusing.
Good luck getting those records and don't be too hard on the staff as they too are trying to understand this somewhat confusing process.
s, peggiesue
  #5  
Unread 07-16-2005, 02:07 PM
Getting another opinion

I agree - it is always best to have a set of records for yourself. Don't let the words in the reports scare you - if there is something you don't understand you can always ask the next doctor to explain it to you in terms you can understand. I started getting records a long time ago when my daughter was a baby and had a lot of medical issues and I'm so glad I did.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

Mary
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