Spine Specialist vs. General Practitioner
Category: Surgeons | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 19, 2017
General practitioners are incredibly talented doctors with knowledge of a wide range of medical ailments and conditions, but they may not always be the best fit for your back problem. Here’s why:
Depth of Knowledge
General practitioners have a wide range of knowledge about an incredibly large amount of medical data, but oftentimes their depth of certain ailments is lacking. They know how to treat basic conditions, but more site specific injuries like scoliosis or a herniated disc would be best treated by someone who sees those injuries on a regular basis.
Similar to the above point, a general surgeon will have performed a wide variety of operations in their career, but maybe they’ve only performed a dozen operations on person’s spine. When it comes to your spine, you’ll want someone who has performed the exact procedure hundreds if not thousands of times.
We always say caring for your body is like caring for a nice car. You may take it to the quick lube station down the street for an oil change, but if a major problem develops, you usually want to take it into the dealership where mechanics who only work on one brand of vehicle can accurately assess and address the problem. If you get the flu, a visit to your general practitioner will suffice, but if you suffer a spinal fracture, you’ll want to take it to a spinal specialist.
When you explain your symptoms to a general practitioner, they’ll likely be able to begin formulating some possible diagnoses, but a spine specialist will have a better idea of all the problems that could be affecting your back, and they’ll be able to set you up with the right tests to confirm their belief.
More One-On-One Care
General practitioners are generally very busy. They never truly know what’s going to walk through their door, and one setback can leave them trying to play catch up the rest of the day. Many general practitioners are great at giving each patient the time of day they deserve, but sometimes your visits can feel rushed. Spinal specialists can better plan for their upcoming day so each patient has plenty of time to express their concerns and get answers to their questions.