The Nov. 26 Health & Science article “Her deterioration was frightening” was a powerful argument for increased collaboration among health-care professionals. The article could have easily been written about a friend of mine whose persistent cough, fatigue and shortness of breath had continued for about six months without any definitive diagnosis beyond asthma. After seeing little improvement, he finally insisted on an EKG, which resulted in an immediate trip to the emergency room and several days in the hospital, where his underlying cardiomyopathy was diagnosed.

In this age of advanced technologies and interconnectivity, can’t we move toward a system in which professionals of different specialties can collaborate on a patient’s diagnosis in real time? The model of medical groups determined by specialty is deeply entrenched: We keep the pulmonologists here and the cardiologists there. While that model exists for a reason and has clear benefits, doctors should have easier avenues for more frequent consultation with colleagues in other specialties as they chase down diagnoses in such “mystery” cases.

When my mother’s breast cancer was treated last year, the level of collaboration and cooperation among her doctors and surgeons was exemplary. This type of care, now the norm at large cancer centers, produces excellent results. Perhaps a “virtual consortium” of medical specialists could expedite accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Thomas Donohue, Oakton