Marsha Suffered From Chronic Back Pain For Years – Thanks to 2nd.MD She Is Able To Manage Her Pain

Chiropractor adjusting neck muscles

I have been suffering from chronic back pain for years, despite trying every treatment my doctor recommended. My doctor felt that all I could do at this point to manage the pain was to have surgery, but my insurance provider denied coverage for it. I felt like I was out of options and didn’t know where else to turn. 

I reached out to 2nd.MD after being referred by my insurance provider, and the Care Team immediately assigned a nurse to my case. Julie worked to find the best specialist for my condition, and helped me schedule a consult at a time that was convenient for me. 2nd.MD even collected my medical records so I didn’t have to. Dr. Panagos reviewed my records before the consult, so he was familiar with my symptoms and tests. Throughout the consult, I never felt rushed, and Dr. Panagos took the time to answer all my questions and listen to my concerns. Most importantly, I was so relieved when he explained that I had options other than surgery. He walked me through all the details of a minimally invasive injection therapy that I could try instead.

I am so thankful for 2nd.MD and their incredible medical team! If I hadn’t been able to speak to Dr. Panagos, I would have had to pay out-of-pocket for an unnecessary surgery. 2nd.MD gave me clarity on my condition and peace of mind, knowing there were other options available for managing my pain. Families that need medical advice need 2nd.MD — their elite specialists are here to help you get the care you need!



After Suffering for over Two Years, Marilyn Finally Found Relief Without Surgery

Physical therapy alternative to back surgery

I have been suffering from back pain for over two years, and it was becoming unbearable. My local doctor had referred me to a specialist, who felt that the only way to resolve my back pain was with spinal compression surgery. I had never tried any treatment for my back pain before this, but this surgery sounded quite serious. My husband is a retired Texas A&M employee and remembered that we had received a membership card from 2nd.MD last fall. We decided to reach out to 2nd.MD that day to help us figure out if this serious surgery was really necessary.

From the moment we reached out to 2nd.MD, our Care Team nurse Rebeca acted as our healthcare advocate, and guided us through the entire process. She recommended that we speak to Dr. Zavatsky, an expert in treating and healing advanced back pain. 2nd.MD even setup the consult so that my husband could join as well, and hear firsthand what the specialist recommended. During the consult, Dr. Zavatsky patiently walked us through the MRI’s that I had recently done. While he agreed with the diagnosis, he did not feel that surgery was the right answer for me at this time.

Instead of having surgery he suggested a graduated approach to my back pain, that included over the counter medications, physical therapy, and epidural injections. I am so grateful that Texas A&M University offers 2nd.MD as a benefit to its employees, retirees and their families. Through 2nd.MD, I was able to speak to a top specialist like Dr. Zavatsky, and make sure that I was receiving the right treatment for my back pain. Without this consult, I would have gone ahead with the spinal compression surgery my original doctor recommended, and continued to be in pain. If you are considering a serious surgery or are suffering from pain like mine, I absolutely recommend that you reach out to 2nd.MD today and make sure you are getting the care you deserve.



After her medications stopped working, Nancy was grateful she had 2nd.MD to help her find an alternative treatment plan.

After her medications stopped working, Nancy was grateful she had 2nd.MD to help her find an alternative treatment plan.

Glucose Meter With Medical Stethoscope, Fruits And Dumbbells For Using In Fitness

2nd.MD came into my life at the perfect time. I thought the service sounded too good to be true, but I activated my account to learn more. I have been living with Type 1 diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis for years, and have been relying on medication to help manage my RA pain.

Just a couple of months after activating my 2nd.MD account, my pain medications stopped working and I was at a crossroads. The 2nd.MD Care Team scheduled a consult for me with a top rheumatologist who is on the faculty of a renowned medical school as well as in private practice. Through 2nd.MD I was able to consult with him by video without having to travel and at no cost to me.

Dr. Efthimious is an authority in his field and has years of experience in choosing the right combination of meds for his RA patients. His recommendation gave me confidence in my treatment plan. I am so grateful I activated my account that day and had access to 2nd.MD when I needed it the most.



Concerned Dad Finds Answers

David came to 2nd.MD to get a second opinion for his daughter’s reoccurring ulcerative condition. Their family physician had never seen anything like this before. Fortunately, 2nd.MD was able to confirm their doctor’s diagnosis.

My 13-year-old daughter was turned away from a specialist, causing us to go see our family physician for an uncommon ulcerative condition that the doctor had never seen before. I wanted a second opinion and some reassurance of my daughter’s diagnosis and treatment plan that was being recommended.

Healthy family with 2nd.MD

My consult with Dr. Andrews gave my daughter and I the reassurance and peace of mind we needed before taking the next step. I appreciated the time that 2nd.MD and Dr. Andrews took to help give us clarity and reassurance of the treatment plan that was being recommended.


CEU – The Digital Health Era: New Horizons For Nursing

Earn 1 CEU Credit Hour


2nd.MD welcomes nurses and case managers from all over the Houston area can meet and greet other professionals and earn continuing education credit. All nurses (RNs) and case managers (CCMs) who attend will earn 1 hour of CEU credit.


Please RSVP here.



Mark had questions about his kidneys – and got helpful answers from a 2nd.MD specialist

Frequent trips to his local doctors were leaving Mark frustrated about some kidney problems. So he contacted 2nd.MD for a second opinion.

Mark-kidney-questionsI had two issues: kidney stones and cysts on my kidneys. Treating the stones was difficult because it can be hard to determine what kinds of stones they are. It also wasn’t clear what the best treatment course was – should I leave them alone? Should I have them extracted?

Because of this uncertainty, I found myself returning to my urologist and nephrologist every 6 or 8 weeks and having x-rays every 6 to 9 months. It was frustrating because it didn’t seem like we were able to figure out the right plan. And I didn’t know what was going to happen with the cysts – were they going to grow?

I called 2nd.MD and Andy [part of the 2nd.MD Care Team] put me in contact with Dr. Canes. Dr. Canes told me the cysts were the bosniak 2 type [and likely benign] and were not worth worrying about. He also told me that I should only go in to have them checked out every two years.

As for the kidney stones, Dr. Canes gave me some dietary tips to clarify what I should eat. He said the kidney stones were probably calcium stones and the best way to treat them is a low oxylite diet. Dr. Canes also advised that I could eat more protein (I had been trying to avoid protein for fear it would worsen the stones). This was important to me because I’m a runner and I wanted to keep fueling my body with enough protein.

In short, Dr. Canes was reassuring and gave me a lot of clarity about how to proceed, which was a modified diet and far fewer trips to the doctor.

I’m so glad I contacted 2nd.MD. The whole process was very positive. The dialogue and communication with the Care Team and Dr. Cane were great. The whole process was very positive. It was easy and I felt comfortable. What a great service!

– Mark


Jennifer liked that she was given a choice of doctors and felt connected to the one she chose

Jennifer used 2nd.MD to get a second opinion about testing for the breast cancer gene.

Breast cancer dnaEarlier this year, my doctor said I should get tested for the breast cancer gene (BRCA). I found out I was positive, so I visited an oncologist to find out what my next step would be. But then I also wanted to get another view about possible surgeries, so I contacted 2nd.MD.

I liked that I was given a choice of doctors and I picked the one that fit best for me, Dr. Webster.

When I spoke to her, she came up with a lot of things to ask my local oncologist. Dr. Webster also suggested some other ideas about how to proceed moving forward — really helpful. In fact, Dr. Webster had gone through the same experience I was having regarding breast cancer. So we really connected and I was really pleased with her bedside manner.

During our talk, she mentioned that I should have an abdominal ultrasound. So I went ahead and did a pelvic and abdominal ultrasound and found some liver abnormalities! This was not something I would have found unless the 2nd.MD doctor had advised me to get the ultrasound. So that was really good.

I’ve decided to have two different surgeries in 2016, a hysterectomy then probably a mastectomy. I decided it’s better to not have cancer than risk it. And talking to Dr. Webster really put my mind at easy about both.

I will definitely use 2nd.MD again. It’s made a huge difference for me. It’s invaluable.

– Jennifer


A 2nd.MD specialist helped Natalie determine the right kinds of testing for breast cancer

Natalie was worried about breast cancer, but got reassurance from a 2nd.MD expert about the right type and frequency of tests she should be having.

Natali-breast-cancerAfter a routine mammogram, my insurer wanted to survey my breast tissue on the right side every six months not just with a mammogram, but also an ultrasound. I honestly lost track of all the stuff they wanted to do. It all seemed a bit excessive and made me feel like they weren’t confident or didn’t have the right tools.

That’s what brought me to 2nd.MD. I thought just talking to another expert would make me more confident about the tests I was undergoing.

The 2nd.MD doctor went over my records and she also saw a change in the tissue that my local doctor had identified. So she validated that having these regular surveys was the right thing. Getting this second opinion and a second pair of eyes and hearing the consistency in the recommendations really helped.

Not long after that, my next mammogram looked fine – there was no longer any change in my breast tissue. And I got confirmation that it wasn’t cancer, just some changes in my breast tissue. Now I’m back on routine, annual mammograms.

This was such a relief. Worrying that I might have breast cancer was really weighing on me. I’m so lucky that 2nd.MD was offered to Waste Management staff. It gave me tremendous peace of mind.


Linda’s 2nd.MD doctor spent more time with her than her surgeon

Linda came to 2nd.MD for a second opinion about her debilitating foot pain and hesitation about surgery.

I have had Foot-x-ray4 surgeries on my foot and within two months of my last surgery my doctor was ready to operate on me again. I was just frustrated because my surgeon and the surgeon’s assistant were giving me two differing opinions. I got my 2nd.MD card in the mail and figured I would reach out.

Kimberly was the Registered Nurse assigned to my case and she was on point. She recommended Dr. Sheskier and he was AWESOME! Dr. Sheskier was really down to earth and made me feel like he cared about helping find the best solution for me. He didn’t agree that I should have the surgery this soon. He said my body needed time to heal and that made sense to me. He even followed up with me after the consult and provided his written recommendations. I was able to provide these notes to my PCP at my next appointment and he followed Dr. Sheskier’s suggestions.

My 2nd.MD doctor spent more time on my case than I feel like my surgeon did. I can’t speak any higher about this service and I have already recommended it to many of my coworkers. I will definitely use 2nd.MD again!

– Linda


Katherine came to 2nd MD for help with a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease

Katherine reached out to 2nd.MD for help with questions about medication for a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinsons-Hands-smA few weeks ago I got a postcard from 2nd.MD and filed it away. I thought I’ll probably never need this. Then, a couple of weeks later, I went to a neurologist about a slight tremor in my right hand and arm. My mother and sisters have essential tremor, so when I noticed mine, I wasn’t too concerned. However, it worsened, and only happened when my arm was at rest, so I knew it was different. The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease didn’t come as too much of a surprise, but I didn’t know what questions to ask at the time.

My doctor recommended medication and exercise. I was worried about the diagnosis; I’m a nurse and I have taken care of some patients before with severe Parkinson’s. The medication’s list of adverse side effects was long, but we didn’t spend a lot of time discussing that. I just didn’t know what to do, and then I remembered I had the card from 2nd.MD.

I was surprised about how quickly it happened. I got to review the specialist’s background and really see that this was her expertise. Dr. Klepitskaya was personable and very familiar with the latest clinical research. We discussed what was bothering me. She was able to clarify all of my questions. The neat part was that Dr. Klepitskaya didn’t stop there. She gave me additional resources and programs to reference. She didn’t make me feel rushed and was so reassuring. The written consult summary afterwards was most helpful too. After our consult, I hung up and thought, this was free and most people aren’t even aware.

I’m now taking the medication I had been hesitant about (although I am increasing the dose at a slower rate than prescribed), and have found that it helps with my sleep and anxiety. I have found a local clinic that offers the exercise program the 2nd.MD doctor recommended, and am researching whether my insurance will cover it. I’ve increased my walking to 5 times a week, and I’m going to take advantage of yoga offered at the army post where I work.

I wouldn’t trade my experience with this specialist for anything.