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Best Doctors®

Best Doctors is a worldwide network of medical experts which is available to members for second opinions, advice and information on any medical conditions they develop.

Best Doctors Logo

  • Founded in 1989 by professors of the Harvard Medical School.
  • Medical experts chosen by other doctors as pre-eminent experts.
  • Membership of more than 30 million individuals in over 70 countries.
  • Now established in Auckland, New Zealand with permanent medical staff.
  • Members register for services on a New Zealand website or via 0800 500 108.
  • A range of services provided, from second opinions to advice to information only.
  • No claim or potential claim need exist - Best Doctors is there solely for your health.
  • No cost to you in using these services - the cost is already met in your membership.

Why Best Doctors?

If you or one of your family developed a significant medical condition, you would want to be absolutely sure about the diagnosis you received and the treatment which was recommended. You would likely have all sorts of questions about the condition itself, the options for treatment and the risks involved. You would want to be completely certain that an adequate level of care and skill had been exercised, and that your case was not being mishandled.

The onset of significant medical conditions happens to people every day. If it happened to you, would you like a second opinion from a world-class specialist in that field who had fully studied your case? Not someone who would replace your specialist, but someone who would provide independent advice and confirmation of the diagnosis, and advice on the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

At your request as a member, Best Doctors will assign a world-leading medical expert in that field to thoroughly review your case. Regardless of where that expert was located, be it New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Sydney or any other city in the world, Best Doctors will identify and appoint a world-leading medical specialist in that field who will review your case. You will then receive a detailed written report which confirms the diagnosis or otherwise, and which provides recommendations on the most appropriate treatment. You can then choose to share that advice with your doctor.

Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis is a common occurrence. In a major study which compared clinical diagnoses with post-mortem results1, it was found that the correct diagnosis was missed in 26% of patients. The researchers concluded that: "Despite the introduction of more modern diagnostic techniques and of intensive and invasive monitoring, the number of missed major diagnoses has not essentially changed over the past 20 to 30 years."

Misdiagnosis occurs across all fields of medicine. For example, in the field of radiology a major study found error rates of up to 32% in failing to detect abnormalities2 (false negatives). Error rates ranging from 25% to 49% have been recorded in pathologists’ interpretations of biopsy specimens3, and a pathology journal4 reported a 24% error rate in laboratory tests. These and other research findings suggest that patients should be more circumspect and enquiring about medical diagnosis and testing.

Who are Best Doctors?

Best Doctors was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989 by two physicians: Kenneth Falchuk, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and Jose Halperin, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Both founders remain on the Medical Advisory Board of Best Doctors today.

The Best Doctors network consists of more than 50,000 expert physicians worldwide, drawn from over 400 medical subspecialties. Best Doctors physicians are chosen by other doctors as the pre-eminent experts in their field, and they represent the top 5% of physicians in their respective specialties.

Best Doctors is now established in more than 70 countries throughout the world, and has more than 30 million individual members. In New Zealand, Best Doctors is based in central Auckland and has a permanent medical staff to assist in gathering medical notes, pathology and other material for reviews which are requested by individual members.

Best Doctors and KiwiCover

Membership of Best Doctors is complimentary for one year with every life insurance policy taken out through this website. That’s how serious we are about you and your health, and the health of your family. All you need do is take out and maintain your policy, and membership of Best Doctors will be paid for you for one year. This means that you, your spouse/partner and your children will have access to Best Doctors for any medical condition, questions or information.

Best Doctors Services

Members can access a range of services from Best Doctors, from full medical reviews conducted by worldwide specialists, to having their questions and concerns addressed by those specialists without a full medical review, to information-only services which help them to understand and deal with any medical condition which they or their families develop or which they already have. There is no cost to you for using these services - they are already paid for in your membership of Best Doctors:


InterConsultation

For any significant medical condition which you or an immediate family member develops, Best Doctors will assign a world-leading specialist in that field to conduct an in-depth review of your case, including a review of the diagnosis made and of the treatment which has been recommended. Learn more about InterConsultation.


Ask The Expert

For any significant medical condition which you or an immediate family member develops, you can ask a world-leading specialist in that field any questions you like, without having a full medical review of your case. Learn more about Ask The Expert.


Doctor Online

For answers to any medical questions at all which you may have, you can ask one of our carefully-selected New Zealand doctors. You will receive a personal response within 24 to 48 hours, posted to your personal inbox. Learn more about Doctor Online.


FindBestCare®

If, following an InterConsultation, the medical expert’s report to you identifies a world-leading treatment option overseas, then all the necessary bookings and other arrangements for that treatment will be made for you at your request. Learn more about FindBestCare.


Multimedia Library

For information on more than 300 common and not-so-common medical conditions, consult the Best Doctors Multimedia Library for educational videos which explain the nature and causes of each condition. Learn more about the Best Doctors Multimedia Library.

Important Information

  • Best Doctors is a service, not an insurance policy. It is provided by Sovereign Assurance Company Limited under agreement with Best Doctors Inc. of the United States, and it is provided as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, the services provided by your own medical practitioners.

  • Membership of Best Doctors is provided to each life insured under a life insurance policy takenout through KiwiCover, and that membership is paid for each life insured for a period of one year from the commencement date of the policy, subject to the policy remaining continuously in force throughout that period. Membership gives access to Best Doctors’ services to each life insured, to the spouse or partner of each life insured, and to each birth child and child under legal guardianship of each life insured and life insured’s spouse or partner.

  • Membership of Best Doctors is subject to eligibility criteria and terms and conditions as set by Best Doctors Inc. from time to time.

  • Best Doctors, Best Doctors InterConsultation, FindBestCare, and the star-in-cross logo are trademarks of Best Doctors Inc. in the United States and in other countries, and they are used under licence.

 
  1. Roosen J, et al. Comparison of Premortem Clinical Diagnoses in Critically Ill Patients and Subsequent Autopsy Findings. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, June 2000; 75:562-567
  2. Renfrew DL, et al. Error in Radiology: Classification and Lessons in 182 Cases Presented at a Problem Case Conference. Radiology 1992; 183:145-150.
  3. Landro, L. Hospitals Move to Cut Dangerous Lab Errors. Wall Street Journal, June 14 2006; D1, D11.
  4. Plebani, M. Errors in Clinical Laboratories or Errors in Laboratory Medicine?. Clinical Chemistry 2006; 44:750–759