Which Specialist Should I See?

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When you, the patient, develop a symptom, do you try to work out what is wrong yourself ? – Of course you do. 

Unless you're very worried, you treat yourself to start with, taking some Over The Counter (OTC) medication, and only if that doesn’t work do you go to the Doctor.  But which Doctor?

British trained Doctors are the most extensively and intensively trained in the World. They are required to have an extensive General training before beginning Specialist training. Many have more experience than the minimum requirement before undertaking Specialist Training: and by the way, General Practice, despite its name, is a Speciality in its own right.

All "G.P.'s" trained under the British medical system must have accreditation in General Practice with the JCPTGP, which is Joint Committee (of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, of Surgeons, and of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) on Postgraduate Training for General Practice.  This ensures a high level of understanding and knowledge of the different Medical disciplines.

Most medical problems can be dealt with in General Practice by a properly qualified and accredited General Practitioner, and for those conditions that cannot, you will be referred to another Specialist, with the appropriate expertise.

Over 90% of diagnoses can be made on the history taken by a properly trained General Practitioner.  In other words, by asking the right questions, the G.P. Doctor can work out what is wrong with you.  The skill is in asking the right questions based on the story (history) as
told by the patient.  This skill is learned with proper training, and with experience. The diagnosis is usually confirmed by simple physical examination.  Another 7% of diagnoses require an examination to make the diagnosis, and perhaps some tests to confirm this.

Contrary to popular belief, only a small minority of rarer conditions require blood tests and/or X-Rays etc. to make the initial diagnosis.

The question that should be asked before any test is undertaken should be: "will this test make any difference to my treatment?" In other words, is this
test really necessary?  If the answer is no, don’t have the test – after all, one way or another, whether your Health Insurance pays, or you pay directly, you are paying for it.

So, next time you have a Medical problem, ask your General Practitioner to make the diagnosis.