5 minutes with… Dr Sharena Sheikh

Dr Sharena Sheikh is one of our Expert Medical Second Opinion (EMO) service GPs. We asked Sharena to explain more about her role and the service.

What is the EMO service?

Teladoc Health’s Expert Medical Second Opinion service – Best Doctors – provides people with access to the world’s leading minds in medicine.

What does an EMO GP do?

We assist patients with chronic, stable medical conditions in getting specialist expert advice on their current diagnosis and treatment plans. These patients will already be under the care of their own specialist (NHS or private) but will be looking for additional help in managing their condition or reassurance that they are on the best available treatment plan.

How does a patient appointment call work for you as a doctor?

Appointment calls are one hour long to allow adequate time to take a detailed history of their diagnostic and treatment plan to date in order to prepare a report for the Expert to read. Suitable questions are agreed upon, and advice on medical record collection is provided. After each call, I review the medical records and prepare the report before sending it to the Expert. The Expert reviews the report, answers the questions, and then provides a final report that we share with the patient.

What do you like about your role?

As a doctor, it’s rewarding to be able to spend valuable time with patients who have often not had the opportunity to understand their condition or express the impact it has on their lives…without the pressure of running behind with appointments! Additionally, speaking with patients who are grateful to be listened to is truly fulfilling.

It’s so satisfying when a patient has clearly benefitted from the Expert advice. This can be in terms of suggested changes in their treatment (e.g., in oncology cases), where an Expert has helped them make an important decision (“do I actually need this operation?”), or even in merely validating their symptoms, where previously they have been dismissed. We all became doctors because we had a passion for helping patients, and it is a privilege to be part of a successful outcome.

I have learned so much from the Expert reports – aside from improving my own understanding of various conditions, I have been made aware of up-to-date investigations and management options, which are useful for my NHS role.

Demand for this service continues to increase, and it is a privilege to be able to help patients in this unique way.

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