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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 Involved

Learn how you can help us help others by supporting our pathology research.

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