Member Story: Dan


Years ago, Dan was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor in his pelvis. Over the next few years, he had several surgeries to remove the tumor and received localized radiation treatments. The radiation effectively eliminated the cancer, but it also led to slowly progressing deterioration of his hip joint.

The decline of his hip joint was aggravated by arthritis caused by the removed tumor, resulting in chronic pain. The pain, which required injections to treat, limited Dan’s ability to sit for long periods of time, and affected his ability to do his job properly.

Dan’s wife, Chileshe, was a physician and she worked hard to look through his medical records for something the treating physicians had missed and seek out the most skilled doctors, but she was worried they weren’t getting the answers they needed. “It was hard to just be the wife and not the physician. Best Doctors allowed me to finally sit back, share his tears and finally just be his wife,” she explained.

Dan learned about a benefit free to him through his employer called Best Doctors. After contacting Best Doctors and giving authorization, Best Doctors collected all of his medical records and his case was reviewed by a best-in-field orthopedic surgeon from the world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital.

“The process was very timely and thorough, and the service went above and beyond all expectations,” Dan said. The Best Doctors expert recommended Dan have a total right hip replacement and curettage of the site of the tumor in the pelvis.

The report was written in a way that was very easy for Dan to understand, and Dan was impressed it included collaboration between physicians. “The value that [Best Doctors] adds by interpreting the results and making recommendations is world class,” he added.

Armed with his Best Doctors report, Dan set out to find a local physician who would perform this operation. He met with four different physicians, but all had contrasting recommendations on treatment options, ranging from a “wait and see” approach to amputating his entire right leg.

Dan reached out to the expert who reviewed his case and spoke with him about the treating physicians he had met with. Since none had agreed to perform this surgery for him – either offering more invasive surgery or no surgery at all – the expert agreed to perform the surgery.

“I consider myself extremely lucky,” he said. Though the expert reports are developed to support treating physicians, in some cases, the expert is the best choice to carry out the treatment recommendations.

Dan’s surgery was successful and the curettage of his pelvis revealed there were no lingering cancer cells. After his hip replacement and subsequent rehabilitation, he was able to sit for longer periods of time, allowing him to return to work. With significant pain reduction, he’s been able to slowly reduce the dosages of his pain medications.

“Had it not been for Best Doctors, I would have had a hugely more invasive procedure that would have limited function and extended my recovery time,” he said.

Chileshe added, “Best Doctors simply transformed us and our journey. [The staff] listened, a very important and differentiating factor, combed every detail and quickly delivered an answer from its network of the best of the best.”