New Multiple sclerosis diagnosis what is next?
May 5, 2016 6:25 AM   Subscribe

Asking for my friend. My 42 year old friend was just diagnosed with very early stage MS. She wants a second opinion. How do you go about finding somebody? Original diagnosis at Cleveland MS Clinic. Willing to travel to MD, DC, PA, or about 6 hours from Cleveland. Ignore insurance issues. TIA!
posted by Coffee Bean to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Minnesota is more than 6 hours from Cleveland, however Mayo Clinic is my go-to for medical care. And I live close to the PHX location. Outstanding care. Worth looking into.
posted by strelitzia at 6:35 AM on May 5, 2016

The National MS Society has an online tool for identifying providers who "demonstrate knowledge and experience in MS care, have a special interest in treating people living with MS, and work closely with the Society."

Another approach would be to ask another physician for a suggestion. If your friend has a good primary care doctor, they should be able to recommend a neurologist. Your friend might not have tried this yet or just assumed it's not done, but even at the clinic where she was diagnosed they would most likely be willing to suggest names in other cities. It's not unusual for newly diagnosed patients to want a second opinion. Especially at Cleveland Clinic where so many patients are not local, it is common to provide recommendations for physicians in other regions.

Finally, if there's anything unique about your friend's case -- e.g. an unusual presentation/symptoms/test results, comorbid medical conditions, past medical history -- the best person to consult with might be someone who has a research interest in that subject. To find those people, you can search Pubmed or Google Scholar for recent related literature and look at the authors and their institutions.
posted by telegraph at 6:49 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Does she want a second opinion because she doubts the diagnosis or because she wants to know other treatment options?

The University of Michigan Health System is in Ann Arbor, which is not too far from Cleveland. This is a research institution that is routinely rated as one of the best hospitals in the country. Their Multiple Sclerosis Center is accredited as a Center for Excellence by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
posted by FencingGal at 7:48 AM on May 5, 2016

Is she in Cleveland? The Cleveland Clinic is huge, so she should be able to get a second opinion there. If she's not comfortable with that, she should look at University Hospitals, the other big player in Cleveland, which is more highly rated than the Clinic in some areas (don't know about MS.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:56 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

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