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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2013 December;26(6):447-9


language: English

A place for a second opinion in the field of surgery

Palmieri B. 1, Manenti A. 1, Di Cerbo A. 1, 2, Imperiale G. 1, 2, Iannitti T. 3

1 University of Modena Department of General Surgery and Surgical Specialties Modena, Italy; 2 Policlinico del Secondo Parere, Modena, Italy; 3 University of Kentucky, Department of Physiology Lexington, KY, USA


The modern field of surgery is undergoing a deep transformation due to technological innovations and changes in the doctor-patient relationship. Furthermore, the “cultural identity” of the general surgery specialty is subdivided and phragmented into many subspecialities, with the impending risk of serendipitous and uncoordinated approach to the problems. While the concept is a general “must” in medicine and surgery, there are specific cases in which its understanding, endorsement and compliance are mandatory. In the field of surgery, there is an increasing need to inform doctors about the fundamental role played by the second opinion leading them to its pull understanding and acceptance. This institution should be planned and managed by every National Health Service, in order to offer a clear-cut problem-solving opinion about the complex unresolved, health problems which may occurr especially in the old age. Furthermore, a second opinion service can also be offered by private medical facilities and online services given that the physicians and allied health professionals possess an outstanding ethical and cultural pedigree and are surrounded by adequate consulting structures and network.

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