Dr. Hassan Sharif, President of WorldCare International, narrowed down the core value of a medical second opinion: peace of mind to a prospective patient and potentially lifesaving for those diagnosed with a serious illness.
In an exclusive interview with DoHealthWell, Dr. Sharif provided insights about a Medical Second Opinion, also known as MSO, which is service that works to eliminate unnecessary procedures, trial and error treatments for rare medical conditions, misdiagnoses, inappropriate treatments, and redirecting health care resources.
Without further introduction, here is the interview-questionnaire with Dr. Hassan Sharif, a world leader in providing health solutions to thousands of people that seek recommendations outside their primary provider.
Dr. Sharif, we are glad to have you in DoHealthWell. Feel already welcomed to the Dominican Republic this upcoming September for the 4th International Health and Wellness Tourism Congress.
Dr. Sharif, tell us a little bit about you. How long have you been in the health industry and what roles have you taken?
I have had a successful career in diagnostic and interventional radiology. In 1992, together with a group of entrepreneurs and business professionals, we launched WorldCare (www.worldcare.com).
The company started within the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and was spun off subsequently and has since then been dedicated to innovative healthcare solutions. Today, we take pride in having the following product lines:
- Teleradiology, telepathology and other telemedicine solutions.
- Helping in the design, construction, equipment, and management of healthcare facilities
- Developing a state-of-the-art comprehensive wellness center concept.
- Creating connectivity between U.S. centers of medical excellence and their counterparts
in different parts of the world.
You are the President and Chief Operating Officer of WorldCare International. What is your job about?
Since the inception of the company, I have been responsible for developing healthcare solutions that have stood the test of time and are available globally, in more than 25 countries. I also work closely in business development for the entire organization and ensure the smooth day-to-day running of our operations.
To set a context for WorldCare, what is the importance of a medical second opinion to a prospective patient?
Peace of mind. For those diagnosed with a serious illness, an MSO can be potentially lifesaving.
WorldCare provides our members and their treating physicians with access to teams of top specialists and subspecialists who confirm the diagnosis and provide treatment recommendations including alternative therapies—and all with cost-effective value. WorldCare MSOs are based on the latest research from acclaimed specialists and subspecialists at The WorldCare ConsortiumTM hospitals, as well as at other leading U.S. medical institutions.
According to a video published on the company’s Youtube Channel, “one in 12 adult patients is misdiagnosed, WorldCare’s remote second opinion service helps prevent you from becoming part of this unsettling picture.”
What is the most common misdiagnosis, and how many people are we talking about when it comes to the total of adult patients that are misdiagnosed?
In a year, for example. Misdiagnoses happen in practically every disease known to man and in almost all jurisdictions. There are multiple reasons why this takes place, despite the good intentions and commitment of the medical professionals: work overload, hence not giving individual patients the time they deserve, limited advanced diagnostic testing and limited access to highly specialized medical talent.
According to a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, nearly 12 million (or 5
percent) of adults who sought outpatient care were diagnosed incorrectly each year. A 2016 study by John Hopkins University noted that wrong diagnosis, or medical error, was the third leading cause of death in the United States each year, behind only cancer and cardiac diseases.
That leads us to ask you about the core of the MSO: the value. How does WorldCare create value through the WorldCare Consortium?
The WorldCare ConsortiumTM (currently comprised of Boston Children’s Hospital, Jefferson
University Hospitals, Mayo Clinic, Northwestern Medicine, Partners Healthcare and UCLA
Health) represents leading U.S. medical institutions that have been around for more than two centuries.
These institutions have among them more than 20,000 specialists and sub-specialists and access to more than $4 billion dollars in annual biomedical research funding. The medical talent residing within these institutions have a commitment to address the needs of patients worldwide through WorldCare’s medical second opinion service, in a methodology which emulates a clinic visit by a patient.
Over the years, we have saved lives and significantly reduced costs of healthcare expenditure as we confirmed a misdiagnosis in 26% of our cases and recommended a modified treatment in more than 75% of cases.
Thank you, Dr. Sharif, for the information. I am sure that our readers will have a better understanding of WorldCare, your work, and the value that your service creates.
You are a featured speaker at the 4th International Health and Wellness Tourism Congress in Santo Domingo. You tag along with Dr. Richard Heinzl, Global Medical Director of WorldCare, in a presentation called “Collaboration: Present and Future of Global Health”.
Is this your first time in the Dominican Republic? Can you provide some insights for your presentation?
I did visit the Dominican Republic once before, for only a few days. In our forthcoming
presentation, Richard and I will be discussing healthcare solutions that have relevance in the 21st century, and which are meant to provide high-quality care while reducing the costs of healthcare expenditure.
Why does WorldCare International support the congress. What value does the meeting add to a company like the one you represent.
WorldCare’s mission coincides with those of this prestigious meeting. The international
congress is a great platform for WorldCare to share our experience with the participants.
Finally, your thoughts about WorldCare Dominican Republic and Francisco Fino.
WorldCare República Dominicana is a strategic partner of WorldCare, helping deliver the
various WorldCare services to the people of the Dominican Republic. Francesco Fino, as
Manager and Founding Partner of Medical Motion, has been instrumental in making it possible to establish WorldCare DR.
Thank you, Dr. Sharif. See you in the DR!
About Dr. Hassan Sharif
As President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Hassan Sharif was key in establishing the physician-to-physician relationships of WorldCare’s second opinion service.
He also leads WorldCare’s international consulting and management efforts while managing worldwide operations and shared services.
The healthcare expert received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, (AUB) School of Medicine.
- Completed his radiology training at AUB, the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.
- Magnetic Resonance training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Fellow of The Royal College of Radiologists, London.
- Sub-specialist in cross-sectional imaging, neuroradiology, y and the musculoskeletal system.
Check out Maureen’s story, which focuses on the value of an MSO.
An active young woman, Maureen suddenly developed health issues, which sent her from one doctor to another with no improvement in her symptoms.
According to her testimonial, WorldCare helped her access expertise from top specialists who gave her clear guidelines on how to manage her care and get back to the active lifestyle she loves.