Unless you are having heart by-pass surgery or perhaps a hysterectomy, you probably don’t need to go to a specialist.
For common illnesses such as acne, asthma, or anxiety, your good old family physician is well equipped to diagnose and treat these conditions most of the time and odds are, they will save you money.
Not only is your doctor likely to charge you less, overall family doctors are less likely to order expensive testing. Specialists often look for a definite diagnosis, whereas your family doctor may focus more on symptom relief. He or she may offer a therapeutic trial of medicine, reserving expensive testing for conditions that aren’t easily resolved.
Family or primary care doctors aren’t just for colds and sore throats, they’re trained to handle 90 to 95% of all conditions encountered in their daily practice. This list of conditions is long and overlaps considerably with a broad range of sub-specialities.
If you have a problem and wonder whether your doctor can handle it, give your doctor a call and if they cannot, then they will refer you to a trusted specialist, ideally one that they would be willing to see themselves!
Below is a partial list of conditions that family doctors treat on a daily basis, which normally do not require a specialist:
- Acne, psoriasis, eczema, headache, migraine, insomnia, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, stress
- Ear infection, hearing loss, dizziness
- Pink eye, styes, scleral hemorrhage
- Allergies, sinusitis, nose bleed
- Mouth ulcers, thrush, tonsillitis, parotiditis
- Swollen glands, goiter, stiff neck
- Asthma, COPD, emphysema, laryngitis
- Stable heart failure, stable angina, chronic atrial fibrillation, most heart murmurs, most palpitations, most chest pain
- Acid reflux, ulcers, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel, hemorrhoids
- Urine infections, kidney stones, overactive bladder, prostate infection or enlargement
- Pap smears, birth control, menopause
- Diabetes, thyroid disease, weight loss or gain, obesity
- Back pain, sciatica, gout, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, warts, nail fungus