If you are like most Americans, you have a primary care physician that you consult with on practically every problem or question. This works the majority of the time. General practitioners require a wide range of medical knowledge to do their jobs properly…
Unfortunately, there are some cases where this can backfire horribly and you are better of going straight to a specialist lest you receive inadequate or overly obtuse treatment from your primary care physician.
The simple fact is that there are certain illnesses or symptoms that require highly specialized and technical care. Even a slight misdiagnosis can actually be harmful. If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, skip an appointment with your general practitioner, and seek a specialist instead.
If you are feeling down and are concerned that you might have depression or another psychiatric disorder, you should go straight to a psychiatrist. Careless general practitioners tend to overprescribe things like antidepressants and antipsychotics. These medications have a lot of side effects and if improperly prescribed can drastically worsen your condition.
Psychiatrists won’t jump the gun on medication, and they are also more likely to tailor the treatment to your specific situation rather than writing a prescription and sending you on your way. They will also be able to schedule follow ups and monitor your situation.
A 2010 study found that primary care physicians tend to underutilize X-Rays and overuse MRI’s when attempting to diagnose the causes of knee pain. This leads to a lot of misdiagnoses and incorrect treatment programs. Instead, seek out an orthopedist unless the cause of your pain is blatantly obvious.
Strange Looking Moles
You should already be checking yourself on a regular basis for suspicious patches of skin and strange looking moles. Avoiding skin cancer is literally about prevention and vigilant self-monitoring.
If you do find a suspicious mole, seek out a dermatologist rather than your general practitioner. GP’s are likely to recommend the removal of moles that are not dangerous, whereas a dermatologist can recognize a potentially harmful pattern and properly determine whether or not a biopsy is necessary.
If you find that your back is suddenly sore or in pain, seek out a physical therapist rather than your primary care physician. A general practitioner is likely to prescribe pain pills which will do nothing to help the problem in the long term whereas a physical therapist can determine the source of the problem and develop a plan to fix it. Often times, they can help eliminate the pain entirely through a treatment plan tailored to you specifically.
A primary care physician can do two things when it comes to weight gain. They can determine whether or not it is due to a specific illness, and they can tell you that you are indeed overweight. Unless you want to pay money to be told that you are fat, seek out a nutritionist instead. A nutritionist can help you tailor a dietary plan that will not only help you lose weight, but also fits your lifestyle and tastes.