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Please find below a list of common frequently asked questions. If there is anything else you would like to know, please contact us at help@secondopinionspecialists.com, or from the ‘Get in touch’ page.

How much is the service?

This will be discussed and agreed with you once your information has been reviewed by the specialist. Our aim is to provide an excellent service to you at reasonable cost.

Why should I get a second opinion?

A second opinion is a review of your medical or surgical history, test results (including ultrasound, CT or MRI scan), diagnosis or treatment by another specialist. This can help confirm your treatment or diagnosis is correct or else suggest an alternative; additional tests could also be recommended.

Asking for a second opinion can act as a safeguard against unnecessary or inappropriate treatment to ensure you receive the best medical care.

Getting the right treatment relies on making the right diagnosis. When your health is involved, it makes sense to take precautions and to know as much as possible about your diagnosis or treatment options. Getting a second opinion from a leading specialist can help provide you with peace of mind.

When should I get a second opinion?

You may want to consider a second opinion if:

• You are unsure about your diagnosis
• You have been diagnosed with a rare, life threatening or disabling condition
• Your treatment is complex, high risk or unpleasant
• Major surgery has been recommended
• Your doctor remains uncertain about your condition or diagnosis

Studies reveal the importance of second opinions

Many studies and reports have shown why a second opinion can be important and even life saving.

In a recent study, the Mayo Clinic reported as many as 88% of patients received a new or refined diagnosis following review.

A study by researchers from The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, found in 1 out of every 71 cases of cancer, patients were being misdiagnosed.

What do I need to do to obtain a second opinion? Can I ask my GP or primary specialist to help?

Once you have selected your specialist, please contact us to discuss the next step. Usually this will mean sending us some information about your health concern so we can check the specialist is able to provide an opinion. You may be asked to complete a patient questionnaire which the specialist will review.

Your information can include clinic letters, medical reports and test results that you think will help. If this seems difficult, please explain to your GP, family practitioner or primary specialist that you would like a second opinion, so they can provide you with copies of these.

Our simple and secure web-based platform ensures sending this information to us from your computer is easy and straightforward.

I have health insurance - can I use this?

Yes, you should be able to. We endeavour to work as closely as possible with all of the major health insurers. It is important to remember individual policies may vary and from country to country. Please call us to discuss this.

Who are the medical specialists providing my second opinion?

Our specialists are leading, highly regarded UK hospital consultants, considered experts in their respective fields. All have many years experience in the NHS, many practice in renowned and well known clinical and academic institutions, as well as private hospitals.

How is a specialist assigned to my case? Can I choose the specialist?

You can search for a specialist using the search bar by specialty, condition or symptom. A selection of specialists will be presented and you can review each specialist's profile in your own time before choosing which specialist you would like to provide your second opinion.

If you are unsure which specialist to choose or cannot see the specialist you prefer, please contact us and we will assign or find the right specialist for your case.

Can I get a radiology second opinion of my x-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT scan?

Yes, if you wish to have radiology images (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT) reviewed by one of our expert radiologists, you need to select a radiology opinion. Copies of your scan are usually given to you by the hospital where you had this done, in the form of a CD, DVD or USB thumb drive. The main images of your scan are normally contained in a folder called "DICOM". It is important to remember this folder needs to be zipped (compressed) to your computer before sending it to us.

What do I receive?

Your medical opinion comprises a list of the clinical information reviewed by the specialist, the reason for the medical opinion (based on the patient questionnaire you completed), the specialist’s opinion in the form of a written report and a telephone or video consultation with the specialist.

If you selected a radiology opinion, this will include a list of the scans reviewed by the radiologist, the reason for the radiology opinion (based on the patient questionnaire you completed) and the radiologist's opinion in the form of a written report.

Do you share my information with anyone else apart from the specialist or SOS?

No. For further information on how we protect your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.

How do I receive my second opinion report?

After your clinical information has been submitted and your case accepted by the specialist, a written report of the specialist’s opinion will be produced in 7 days. At this time, you will be sent an email containing a secure link to download your second opinion!

What do I use for a video consultation with the specialist?

SOS does not provide specific video calling technology for video consultations. Video calling services are readily available, such as Skype, FaceTime and WeChat. You will need to have an account to use these. A high speed internet connection works best for video consultation, but if you and the specialist do not have access to this, a telephone consultation should be considered instead.

While most video calling services use encryption and other security methods to keep your calls private - you should check you are happy with the level of security provided by the video calling service you decide to use.

Can I get a second opinion for someone else?

Yes, a second opinion can be provided for someone else, provided you have that person’s permission or are that person’s legal guardian (e.g. you are a parent and would like a second opinion about your child's health). We will require proof and may request additional information if necessary. Providing a second opinion for someone else is discretionary and may not be possible in certain circumstances.

Do I need any special software to use your website?

You do not need any special software to use SOS, just a computer (PC or Mac) or mobile device that allows you to connect to the internet. However, you will probably find it easier to send information from your computer rather than mobile device, especially if you need to upload large files or radiology (e.g. CT or MRI) images.

What security does your website use?

SOS uses a best in class, enterprise grade, secure file sharing, transfer and storage platform to manage your information. SSL/TLS protocols protect user authentication, authorisation and file transfers. Files transit occurs with 128-bit encryption using industry-standard encryption protocols. All files are stored in fully accredited data-centres using AES 256-bit encryption and protected by securely configured firewalls. Users are assigned individual accounts based on unique email addresses and self configured passwords for additional security.

Will my original doctor be upset if I get a second opinion?

Seeking a second opinion from another specialist is a patient’s right to request, and usually happens when health concerns persist despite having been seen, investigated, diagnosed, advised or treated. Your GP, family practitioner or original specialist will fully understand this and may even recommend a second opinion as the next step in your care.

Can I still use the service if I live outside of the UK?

Yes, our team of specialists can provide a medical or radiology second opinion wherever you are based in the world.

How do I contact Second Opinion Specialists?

You can contact us via our website by the Online Chat box at the bottom of your screen, by email at help@secondopinionspecialists.com