The Department of Pathology routinely provides second opinions on diagnostic materials prepared elsewhere. Second opinions may be sought by pathologists, clinicians at other institutions or patients.
The request for second opinions can be addressed to the BWH Pathology Department, or to a specific pathologist on staff. A list of staff pathologists and their respective specialties is available A list of staff pathologists and their respective specialties is available here.
Download our Pathology Consult Request form.
In most cases, insurance companies will pay for a second opinion; however, it is important to discuss with your insurance provider whether you will have to pay some or all of the cost of the second opinion.
Your physician will need to collect the materials from the primary pathology lab, prepare them for submission, and deliver the sample to our laboratory for examination.
For a patient who is requesting a pathology consult self-pay within the U.S., they will be required to:
If the patient is being seen by a Brigham and Women's Hospital physician, please include the following:
If you are a physician at an institution other than Brigham and Women's Hospital and you would like a consultative review of pathology performed and diagnosed at your institution, please include the following:
All materials sent by either standard or express mail must be protected from damage by using proper packaging.
The envelope, box or cylinder should be tightly closed and sealed with tape. The mailing label should include a return address as well as the name of the referring clinician or pathologist, and addressed to:
[Pathologist name] (if known)
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Pathology
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
Material sent by express mail or from outside the U.S. usually requires identification of the contents. A sample label might read:
Glass slides of Human Tissue for Diagnosis
No Commercial Value
Some carriers, such as DHL, may additionally require identification of the body part, e.g., skin.
For questions for proper shipment of specimens other than those described above, please contact the carrier, our main office (617-732-7510), or the specific specialty division for instructions.
All original materials will be returned to the referring site on completion of our studies. We will retain any additional slides that we have prepared in our laboratories. A copy of our diagnosis will be sent to the referring physician.
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