There are many different types of doctors out there that can help you. Most people have a general practitioner (GP) that they tend to visit when they’re not feeling themselves. While GPs can be a big help, there are often times when an illness, condition or ailment is out of a GP’s scope of work, and this is when a specialist is required. The following information will help you decide when you should opt to see a specialist instead of a GP.
You want a second opinion.
If you’ve seen your GP and they’ve diagnosed you with a condition, you can always decide to see a specialist to verify that the GP’s diagnosis was correct. Specialists tend to know more about certain conditions than your GP, and they’ll be able to provide you with more tests to determine exactly what is wrong. You may just find that your GP’s diagnosis was correct, or you may just find that your GP was wrong.
Never feel bad about going to another doctor, especially a specialist, for a second opinion. Your health is important, and you deserve to know what’s really wrong.
Your physician’s treatment didn’t help.
After your GP makes a diagnosis, they will tell you how to treat it. If the treatment that your GP provided didn’t work, you may want to see a specialist in order to receive stronger treatments. For example, if a GP suspects that you have allergies, they will typically recommend you take an allergy medication. If the medication doesn’t work, you can opt to see an allergist instead. They will be able to test you to find out exactly what you’re allergic to, and they can even provide you with allergy shots to better treat your symptoms.
Your GP tells you to.
If you decided to see your GP first, they may recommend you to see a specialist if they’re having difficulty determining what is wrong. Physicians only have a certain amount of testing abilities on hand and only so much knowledge of everything, but a specialist is dedicated in their field and will have more tests and more knowledge that can help to cure you. If your GP recommends that you see a specialist, you should do so.
Your gut is telling you something’s wrong.
Our body works in strange ways, and if your gut is telling you that there’s something wrong with you that isn’t being determined by your GP, you may want to see a specialist. Sometimes something as small as a shoulder pain that won’t go away can be a sign of an underlying tumor, and a specialist will be able to test you for any and all causes of your pain. If you truly believe that there’s an underlying issue, you should see a specialist to determine if you’re right.
Specialists are knowledgeable in their area of expertise, and they can help to diagnose and treat diseases that may be out of the scope of a regular GP. If you feel as if something is really wrong or if your GP isn’t able to accurately diagnose you, you may want to see a specialist instead.
Alex Hutchens is a health professional and avid writer who often gives advice to others on health specialists and the times when you need to see them.