Seeking the Best Treatment From Specialist Doctors
Licensed physicians usually offer general care for specific age groups. A doctor who specializes in internal medicine works exclusively with patients over the age of 18. Such a professional can diagnose common diseases, illnesses and other abnormalities that typically occur in adults. However, senior citizens should visit physicians who have specific training in geriatric care. By the same concept, children are best left to the hands of doctors who specialize in pediatric care.
Some primary care physicians have extensive training in specialties that focus on specific parts of the body. For example, a geriatric doctor with a degree in nephrology works with elderly patients who have poor kidney function. This type of expert can recommend the right type of treatment options such as dialysis and prescription drugs. Similarly, a general doctor who also specializes in Rheumatology appeals to aging adults who suffer from arthritis. Such an expert can prescribe medication that manages inflammation in the joints, and he or she can recommend other exercises that improve mobility and flexibility.
Most general health care practices have equipment to diagnose common health problems in patients of all ages. For example, a physician’s office may have an on-site laboratory that is staffed by Phlebotomy technicians. Therefore, patients could have their blood and urine tests taken right at the office. The lab results would usually be available within 24 hours of the appointment.
A primary care doctor analyzes fasting blood panels to determine if a patient is at risk of having serious health problems. For instance, blood glucose levels can reveal a person’s likelihood of having diabetes. For an accurate diagnosis of diabetes, a person would actually have to visit an endocrinologist, a specialist who understands hormones much better than a primary care doctor. Endocrinology practices offer prescriptions for medication such as insulin and other drugs that control imbalances in hormone production. A general physician rarely changes any of the prescriptions that are written by other specialists. However, it is still important for primary care physicians to know about any medication that a patient is taking from other doctors.
Patients seeking the best possible medical treatment should seek doctors with expertise on specific illnesses. General practitioners are more than happy to write referrals to other specialists who can provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for valued patients. Nevertheless, people should still appreciate the input of primary care physicians who can detect minor to severe problems ranging from common infections to life-threatening cancers.