Getting a Second Opinion
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Getting a Second Opinion

Learning that you have a serious illness can be frightening and stressful. Some people find that asking another doctor about their disease, before undergoing a procedure or treatment, can often help them deal with the uncertainty and stress.

Professionals in many medical specialties offer second opinions, including in pathology.

Pathologists at UPMC are expert diagnosticians. We can review your biopsy specimen — even if it is from a hospital in another city or state — and provide a detailed report with an accurate and timely diagnosis to your doctor.

Your doctor is the person to ask about your pathology results. If you wish to seek a second opinion, you should talk with your doctor about how to proceed.  Our department does not release pathology reports or other pathology information directly to patients.

How to Get a Second Opinion

Your doctor is a professional and will not be offended if you ask for a second opinion from our department. In fact, your doctor may find a second opinion helpful to confirm that he or she is selecting the best treatment options.

Take these steps to request a second opinion from a UPMC pathologist:

  1. Check with your doctor's office and insurance carrier to determine whether your insurance plan covers a second opinion. Your doctor may have to authorize the request.
  2. Call your hospital's department of medical records and ask for a HIPAA release form. You must complete and sign this form before your doctor and hospital are legally allowed to release your pathology materials and medical information.
  3. Print a UPMC Pathology Consultation Services form (PDF).
  4. Mail or fax your signed HIPAA release and UPMC Consultation Services forms to your doctor.
  5. Let your doctor know that you wish to get a second opinion of your tissue biopsy by UPMC pathologists — only your doctor can request a UPMC pathology consultation — and that you've sent your signed HIPAA release and UPMC Consultation Services forms.
  6. Ask your doctor to complete the UPMC Pathology Consultation Services form and send it with your materials to the UPMC Pathology department.

Learn more about UPMC Pathology Consultation Services and billing, or call us at 412-647-3720.

Get Your Test Results Now

If you're waiting for test results or have a question for your doctor, sign in to UPMC HealthTrak. HealthTrak is a secure, interactive tool that lets you manage your health online.

  • Get your test results through UPMC HealthTrak now in a new window.
  • Learn how you can support UPMC pathology research

Second Opinions for Providers

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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