Meet Jose: How a Second Opinion Unveiled Less Invasive Treatment Options

Hearing and sharing our patients’ health care stories is a distinct honor. Their personal experiences perfectly illustrate the complexities of navigating the system and the many variables that impact outcomes—whether it’s geographic location or the specific medical condition they face. And while the journey is different for everyone, there’s one thread that remains consistent: Expert medical guidance makes all of the difference and at the end of the day, we all just want to feel better and live our best lives.

Jose works for Quest Diagnostics and has been managing a partial tear in his rotator cuff for about 2.5 years. Initially, his doctor gave him a steroid and prescribed four months of physical therapy. Upon follow-up, he was told that he would need surgery, which would involve a six- to seven-month recovery. He experiences occasional pain and has been putting off the surgery due to the invasive nature of the operation and very long recovery period.

Jose has been living and working in New Jersey for about seven years. While he has settled into the community with his family, he has yet to find the right medical care, “We don’t have experience with doctors here. You fall into the trap of going toward convenience. While a full-service facility has its benefits, you’re really never certain of the quality.”

Jose attended a town hall event at Quest where he learned about Grand Rounds, offered as a benefit to all Quest employees: “I’ve been meaning to get a second opinion for about a year. I haven’t had any luck. I signed up for the new benefit immediately following the town hall event.”

“The process for using Grand Rounds was as easy as could be. I filled out a few forms, they collected my medical records, they got all the necessary information, and provided me with email updates on their status. It only took two weeks from completing the forms to get a second opinion from an expert physician.”

Grand Rounds matched Jose with an expert physician who reviewed his case and provided a thorough explanation of his condition and an appropriate treatment plan. The physician concurred with the first doctor that he’d eventually need surgery, but also discovered something new. Most of the pain that Jose was experiencing was due to bone spurs, and could be alleviated with a much less invasive surgery in the meantime. This would involve a mere two-week recovery.

“I was very impressed. It definitely helped me understand my condition further. I was not aware of the bone spurs and I did not know that I had an alternative, much less invasive and quicker way to address my pain.”

For the first time, Jose was armed with the information he needed to best partner with his local physician on his continuity of care.

“The ability to get the second opinion remotely is huge. I gained not only access to an expert specialist, but also a written report to read and understand. While I’m still working out the next steps of my care plan, at least I can have an informed discussion with my local physician. I would definitely recommend this to my colleagues, and I absolutely believe it is a valuable experience.”