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If you think you have a medical problem, do you go directly to a specialist?


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Or would you go to a general practitioner first? I don't *think* our insurance has restrictions about it.

 

Really depends. If it is something gastro-intestinal, I'd see my naturopath first, she is good with this kind of stuff, also if I suspected it was hormone or gyno-related.

If it's anything to do with orthopaedics, possible fractures, sprains, bursitis, etc, I'd probably see an ortho specialist.

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Well, fo rme, I live with a doc - so if something comes up, DH doesn't pussy-foot around, I'm sent straight to a specialist for whatever ails me...DH won't treat or diagnoise me, but also doesn't want time to elapse that may be needed to prevent complications etc., so he usually calls whomever he feels I should see and gets me in. Last year his sense of urgency about my newly developed gimpy foot (drop foot) turned out to be critical - I was seen next day and neurologist was clear - each day that passed without being seen was one more day damage continued to occur - I was set in a brace, right then and there, and then sent off to be fitted for one made for my ankle-foot later in the day....recovery that normally takes 4-6 weeks took only a week because I was treated immediately, not weeks later after walking on it for weeks.

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I don't need any referrals and normally I see a specialist when I think it is warrented. I do have an internal medicine doctor as my main doctor and I will also follow his advice. Same with the girls. They have adolescent doctors and sometimes they suggest a specialist and sometimes I do it by myself. Explanantion- I took my regular doctor's suggestion about when to see a hematologist. I know I have arthritis and found a specialist by myself and see him as often as he and I both think. I will be soon getting a dermatologist for my daughter and probably an endocrinologist for myself.

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Depends. Sometimes your primary care doctor can get you in faster, other times it is faster to just call them directly.

 

I am seeing a foot and ankle specialist tomorrow. I just called directly as I know that is what I would have to do anyway so why do 2 co-pays? I could get in within 2 days and it is not an emergency so that was fine.

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It depends what the problem is, and whether or not I think it's something my regular doctor will treat. As an example, if I know I have a simple sore throat or a sinus infection, I go to my regular doctor, but if I know that the sore throat and sinus issues are caused by my allergies, I go straight to my allergist.

 

Cat

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Thanks, everyone, for your replies! Just to follow up, I continued to feel worse and worse this week. My symptoms were chest pain, gasping for breath, water retention, dizziness, and general spaciness. There's a strong history of heart disease in my dad's side of the family. All of this made me sure this was somehow cardiac-related.

 

However, I felt so poorly this morning that I didn't want to call around and try to find a specialist. So I saw my regular doc. She's really good, but she doesn't take our insurance, so I have to pay cash to see her. Turns out -- I was wrong about my symptoms! She listened to my sad story, took some lab tests and did an EKG, and told me I have a sinus infection and probably asthma (another doc had mentioned asthma to me several years ago). She really doesn't think this is a circulatory system problem. She sent me on my way with antibiotics, an inhaler, and some meds for acid reflux.

 

I can see going directly to a specialist for a clear-cut problem (like when my daughter sprained her ankle last year and I foolishly went to the pediatrician first), but I'm glad I went to my regular doctor when I was just guessing about what could be wrong. I would have taken up a specialist's time, and he probably wouldn't have diagnosed the sinus infection at all.icon11.gif

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If you have chest pain in the future, go to the ER. That isn't something to guess about. I say this as someone who went to the ER just a couple of weeks ago for chest pain and it wasn't a heart attack. I am not sad that I went though because the consequences if it were a heart attack and I ignored it would have been too great for my family to bear.

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