If you have more than one doctor, many people do, especially athletes, and it’s often confusing which doctor you should see. However, following simple guidelines will make the decision much more accessible. Remember, seeing a doctor when an injury occurs is a good idea. However, emergencies are usually best followed up through your general practitioner and treated in an emergency room.
It would be best if you first considered why you need to go to the doctor. Consider exactly what you need if you need more than just an inspection. If you need simple work-ups or a flu shot, it’s usually easier and faster to see a regular family doctor. However, it is best to see a sports doctor if you have a sports-related injury.
As part of your sports medicine team, you’ll likely have multiple doctors working with various professionals, including a physical therapist, primary care physician, and often a surgeon. When seeing a sports physician, your first stop should be your primary care physician. After visiting with them, they can decide who you should see next based on your needs. This often has the benefit of allowing some treatment options to begin in the meantime, rather than forcing you to wait until the specialist sees you.
However, it’s important to note that if you only see a sports doctor and don’t have a standard internist or family doctor, you should always see your sports doctor unless they recommend you see someone else. Sports medicine doctors cover a wide range of specialties, so sports medicine doctors can only be used if desired.
If you have a fever or develop a rash, the best doctor to see often is your primary care doctor. However, if you are experiencing leg pain, it is best to see a sports doctor. Any time you have a problem or injury caused by sports, or any time that may affect sports, it is best to see a sports doctor.
When you have an urgent problem that requires urgent care, the decision about which doctor to see is often a blur. This is because doctors usually wait too long before getting an appointment. If you find that this is your problem, you should check with both doctors and see which one is right for you quickly. If no doctor can see you soon enough, it’s best to visit your local emergency room and schedule a follow-up visit. Not everyone is thrilled to see an emergency room rather than their regular doctor, but it’s a necessary procedure in cases of serious complications or an emergency.
Emergencies may necessitate using the emergency room, and non-emergency appointments should be scheduled with the appropriate physician to ensure you receive the best care possible. For example, if you use a sports medicine doctor and an internist, you should schedule regular annual checkups with your internist and yearly flu shots. However, it is best to see your sports doctor if you want to create a new exercise program or start a new sport.
With the increasing number of sports medicine doctors offering different specialties, deciding which doctor to choose for travel can become more confusing. However, you are not alone, and by carefully considering the purpose of the trip, you should be able to. Quickly decide which is the best choice for your personal needs.