Seeking a second opinion should never be discouraged if symptoms persist despite current treatments. Physicians, while often well-intentioned and expert in certain areas, cannot be experts in all areas of medicine. Just as the diagnosis of Lyme or another tick-borne disease may have been missed by doctors not familiar with its many manifestations, so too has the diagnosis of other illnesses been missed by doctors who have incorrectly attributed a variety of symptoms to Lyme or another tick-borne disease.
Misdiagnosis is not surprising when one is dealing with a disease for which diagnostic tests are not definitive. Lyme disease in particular because it can affect so many different organ systems is one for which the contribution of several medical specialists should be sought – both in order to be confident of the clinical diagnosis and in order to identify any new treatments that may have emerged for related symptoms. Further complicating the situation is that patients may have Lyme disease and other concurrent illnesses that are un-related to one another. Or, Lyme disease may have triggered another disorder that requires non-antibiotic therapies for cure or symptom reduction. Seeking a fresh medical opinion therefore is wise and may lead to a breakthrough in your health.
At the Columbia University Medical Center, we offer a second opinion evaluation service for patients who have persistent neurologic or neuropsychiatric symptoms that have been attributed to a tick-borne illness. During this two-day evaluation, patients are evaluated by a physician, medical history and records are reviewed, and extensive neurocognitive tests and blood tests are carried out. If indicated, imaging and CSF tests will be discussed. If you are interested in discussing this second opinion evaluation further, please contact Dr. Kathy Corbera at (646) 774-8099. Please be aware that since the evaluation is comprehensive and only a limited number of patients can be seen each week to accommodate the large volume of requests for appointments, it might be several weeks before your telephone call is returned to set up your appointment. There is a waiting list. Your patience is appreciated.
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