Friday, July 16, 2010

The Basic of Health Care - You and your Doctor

Your relationship with your doctor is as unique as it is important. In the strictest terms, it is highly professional arrangement, one involving the hiring of a medical expert to treat your health needs. Yet it is a relationship that fosters a degree of intimacy, both physical and emotional, which may on occasion be as great as that found in other areas of your life or even greater. Most of all, your relationship with your doctor must work. To be successful, it must be based first and comforemost on communication - the clear, complete and comfortable exchange of information, which is the foundation of all good medical care.

But the question is when and whom to choose one. Finding a doctor when you are sick or worse in an emergency is never a good idea. Time is likely to be short and your judgment may be affected. The best time to find a doctor is when you least need one. This is the time when you will have the luxury of making careful, informed choice and to have the opportunity of establishing a comfortable working relationship with the doctor before a medical problem occurs. Also, this will give the doctor time to assess your general health condition. So when an emergency or illness occurs, your doctor have records of your normal or standard health condition.

Whom to choose? Here, we need to differentiate between a specialist physician, a family physician and general practitioner.

A specialist physician is a doctor who has undergone eight years of post medical school in the diagnosis and treatment of general medical disorder and has acquired specialist qualifications in a university or college of physicians. He does not perform surgery or deliver babies, but may be the first to confirm a pregnancy or recommend a surgery,; or may coordinate the treatmnent provided by a number of specialist.

Family physician and general practitioner on the other hand are interchangeable; both refer to doctors who provide primary health care for people of all ages both male and female. To practice, they must complete at least one year of postgraduate training, but most have had additional training in hospitals or working with other general practitioners. Some have had trainings even up to specialist level in areas such as obstetrics, pediatrics, psychotherapy and community medicine.

In some rural areas, a general practitioner performs a wider range of services than the specialist physician or other specialist. Besides providing routine care, the general practitioner is trained to deliver babies, counsel parents, do immunizations, set broken bones, provide contraceptive advice, do annual check ups, take cervical smears and perform minor surgery.

Some general practitioners may recommend or refer you to a specialist if he can no longer give treatment or he lacks experience in some illnesses or major surgery that only specialist surgeon are capable of.

You need to have at least have one family physician or General practitioner and one specialist physician. But in most cases, only a family physician is known. With this, your doctor will advice your or refer to some specialist he knows when needs arises.

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