Should I Visit a General Practitioner or a Specialist?

When you are not feeling well, the first medical professional you will likely contact is your general practitioner. They are the ones that are available for reassurance, advice and to help determine the exact cause of your problem. In many ways, your family doctor is similar to a social worker, as they can deal with both medical and non-medical issues that may be making you feel unwell.

General practitioners are available to see you and your family for a number of different issues, such as coughs and colds, fevers, aches and pains and other minor sicknesses. However, if you have an ailment that they are unable to diagnose, or that has to do with a particular area of your body, your general practitioner may refer you to a specialist.

A medical specialist is a doctor that has completed advanced education as well as clinical training in a specific segment of medicine. Some common medical specialists include:

  • Cardiologist

  • Dermatologist

  • Emergency medicine specialist

  • Internist

  • Neonatologist

These are just a few of the many different specialists that are available for a more specific type of care.

If you are unsure of who you need to see, chances are you should first visit your general practitioner. This doctor will be able to help determine whether or not they are able to help you find a remedy for your ailment. If not, they will refer you to the proper type of specialist allowing you to receive the care you need.

You will benefit from the services of a medical specialist when you have a situation that is difficult to treat, or that a general physician does not have the ability or knowledge to provide care for. It is important to take the advice of your general physician and visit a specialist if you are referred so you will be able to get the care you need to be on the path to recovery.