Division of Rheumatology Second Opinion Program

CHOP’s Division of Rheumatology has experienced pediatric specialists available to consult with you or your physician on second opinion requests for patients with rheumatic conditions. Our specialists work with families and referring physicians from all over the country — and around the world — to confirm diagnoses and provide second opinions about treatment and follow-up care.

Some children who come to us for second opinions may end up being treated here at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; but many will return home for treatment after CHOP clinicians have confirmed the child’s diagnosis and treatment options. We work with an experienced, multidisciplinary team so children can receive the best care possible all over the world.

Why seek a second opinion

A second opinion can help you better understand your child’s diagnosis, resolve any lingering doubts about the path forward with treatment, and offer information about innovative therapies or clinical trials that may be available, but unknown to your physician.

A second opinion can help you to have confidence in your existing physician and the proposed treatment plan, too.

When to get a second opinion

The best time to get a second opinion is before starting therapy or during the first few weeks of therapy. Other common times families may seek a second opinion are when a change in treatment has been recommended or if a relapse has occurred.

Questions to ask during a second opinion consultation

The following questions can help guide your discussion with clinicians during a second-opinion appointment:

  • What type of condition does my child have?
  • How many children with the same condition have you or your program treated?
  • What are the treatment choices for the disorder my child has?
  • Which treatment do you recommend for my child and why?
  • Will my child have a good quality of life?
  • What are treatment side effects for me to consider?
  • How long will treatment last for my child?
  • What are the chances this treatment will be successful and how will we know if it is successful?
  • What are the risks of this treatment for my child — both short-term and long-term?
  • Are there other treatment approaches available for my child? What are they?
  • Are there any clinical trials my child is a candidate for? What is your experience with those trials?

How to request a second opinion at CHOP

  1. To request a second opinion with a physician in the Division of Rheumatology at CHOP, please call 215-590-2547 and ask for an appointment.
  2. Depending on your home state, the online remote consultation program allows CHOP pediatric specialists to review your child’s medical records remotely and provide a detailed written consultation report that answers your specific questions based on the information provided. The Online Remote Consultation Program is available for families living in 23 states and covers 17 specialties. Learn more about CHOP’s remote consultation program.

Information you’ll need

To help us perform a thorough second-opinion evaluation, we need a full summary of your child's evaluation as well as treatments and studies up to this point. It’s important for you to provide as much of the following information as possible to allow our expert team to make the best possible second-opinion recommendation for your child. Please submit these ahead of the visit so they can be entered into our electronic medical record.

Clinical information

  • Your child's physician's name and contact information.
  • Your child's diagnosis, or working diagnosis, and list of presenting symptoms.
  • Copy of any existing treatment plan for your child.
  • Parent summary. This is easiest to do through the online MyChart portal. You will be given access when you register for a visit.
  • Notes from your child's physician.
  • List of medications your child is currently prescribed and currently taking — including over-the-counter medications. Please include the medicine name, dosage, frequency, prescribing doctor, pharmacy name and phone number, as well as how long your child has been using this medication.
  • Complete clinical summary, including:
    • Images from X-rays or scans
    • Laboratory test results
    • Details of any hospitalizations and discharge summaries