Q: I have read the book and I am wondering if you will see me?
A: Thank you for having purchased Ending Back Pain. Yes, as a result of the book I have had numerous inquiries like yours and as a result I have been advising individuals like yourself.
Q: Does that mean you would see me as a patient?
A: I am a surgeon with an active practice but those who seek out my advice based on the principles laid out in the book are seen only for the purposes of a second opinion.
A: It is my feeling that objective opinions are best given by someone other than your treating physician, someone who will look at your problem with fresh eyes and has no financial or other incentive in treating you.
Q: How do I go about getting a second opinion?
A: The web site provides you with a contact number. You will be instructed that whenever possible, it is best that you see me in my New York City office. If the distance is a challenge, my staff can arrange for consultation by telephone or Skype to make the consultations most effective. You will be asked to fill out an intake form which gives me an idea of your history before you see me. My staff will also arrange to have you send me your MRIs, CAT scans and other diagnostic testing you may have had.
Q: What can I expect after the consultation?
A: Shortly after seeing me you will receive a letter documenting your consultation. In that letter, I will make recommendations as to further diagnostic testing, suggest a referral to a specialist and give an opinion as to the care and treatment you have received.
Remember that often my opinion will concur and corroborate the treatment plan you are currently receiving.
Q: Will my treating physician get a copy of your report?
A: The report will be sent to you. The option to share the report with your physician is your choice.
Q: Will you refer me to another physician?
A: I may suggest that you get physician with a specific specialty, i.e. rheumatologist, pain specialist, surgeon, etc., but who you choose will be something you and your doctor will need to decide.
Q: Will my physician be angry that I am getting a second opinion?
A: I hope not. Most physicians are open to the idea of a second opinion. This is particularly true when they see a second opinion that is not trying to “steal the patient.” In fact because low back pain is frequently challenging to treat many physicians welcome another opinion.
Q: Can my doctor call you?
A: Yes I welcome such calls. Your physician my have information about your care that sheds new light and sometimes affect my opinions.
Q: What does the consultation cost? Do you accept insurance?
A: My consultation costs $500, this includes the report and a short conversation with your physician should he or she want to contact me. I do not accept insurance but financial considerations can be discussed with my staff.
Jack Stern, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.