When it comes to treating a complex medical condition, you may find it necessary to visit multiple specialists. While these specialists can provide the care you need to treat individual aspects or symptoms of your medical condition, having one person help to coordinate all of your care can take some of the guesswork out of handling your healthcare needs. A family doctor can provide that coordination for you while still tending to your general health concerns. Here are just a few ways your family doctor can help.
Appointment Scheduling Coordination
Scheduling appointments with multiple specialists can be tricky, particularly if there are long waits or if the doctors are located at a great distance from your home. Your family doctor can help schedule appointments with multiple specialists on the same day. This can make it easier for you to get all the care you need without having to make multiple trips to the hospital. Ask your family doctor about scheduling lab work, imaging, and any other testing you may need. In some cases, you'll be able to have these tests performed at your family doctor's office, and the results can be forwarded to the specialists for you.
Unfortunately, there are risks associated with seeing multiple doctors who are not in communication with each other about your medical condition. One doctor might prescribe a medication to relieve certain symptoms, while another might prescribe a second medication that can be harmful when mixed with the first. Your family doctor can serve as the clearing house for all of your prescriptions, making sure there are no harmful interactions or allergy issues to contend with. Your family doctor can also serve as a pain management doctor, which means your specialists don't have to be concerned about simultaneously prescribing pain medications to you.
Plan of Treatment Coordination
When specialists treat specific symptoms, they may not be focused on your whole-body health. This is simply due to the fact that each doctor is treating a concentrated part of your condition. Your family doctor can collect all of the treatment plans your specialists have recommended and condense it into a single treatment plan. By creating this plan for you, your doctor can help you understand exactly what you need to do to maintain your health. A treatment plan might include medications, dietary restrictions, exercise recommendations, or physical therapy. Be sure to ask any questions you might have so you can be sure you are following the treatment plan as outlined by your family doctor.