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How do you consult each other?


Mark A. Hurt MD

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How do you consult each other?

There are two basic kinds of consults. The first is an internal consult; the second is an external consult.


[u][i][b]Internal consults take 3 basic forms:[/b][/i][/u]

1. A colleague within your practice group comes to your office with a slide and asks your opinion of it, then leaves to write his report.

2. The colleague leaves the slide and paperwork with you and wants your written comments, then he writes his report, incorporating your comments, verbatim, into his report, acknowledging your input.

3. You sit at the multi-headed scope with the colleague and discuss the case; your colleague then leaves to write his report.


Which of these methods is the best?


I have always been more comfortable with the second method, as my written comments, verbatim, become part of the record. When only spoken communication occurs, the message is often lost or its subtleties are lost, and they might not make it into the report the way you, as a consultant, want. It seems safer to write comments in addition to the spoken word.


[u][i][b]External consults usually take a single form:[/b][/i][/u]

I find external consults much easier to execute. When I am unsure of the diagnosis, I write my report, explain my uncertainties, then provide my consultant a copy of my report with a cover letter that explains exactly what my questions are and how I would like to have them addressed. In my practice, I provide the consultant all of the material to which I had access in my review, and I make sure that it is delivered via a secure method and returned the same way.

How do you do it, and why?
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Robledo F. Rocha

Posted

I work in a city with only a few pathologists, so I use external consults exclusively.
First of all, I contact my consultant by email or by phone, explaining why I'm looking for a consultation. After this, I send a copy of my report and the paraffin blocks. I also send a formal letter in which I write the reasons, the uncertainties and some questions I'd like to be awersed. Finally, I attach the consultancy report to my original report.
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Mark A. Hurt MD

Posted

Robledo,

I also attach a copy of the consultant's report to my original; in fact, today, these are scanned into the database so that when the report is printed or faxed, the consultant's report automically goes with it.

Thanks for your comment.

MAH
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