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General medicine focuses on the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of diseases of the internal organs. A medical doctor who specializes in general medicine is usually called a general medicine doctor or a general physician (GP). Although they mostly treat adults, they may also treat adolescents and children. They treat all medical conditions, including conditions that affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, hematological, or endocrine systems. Some of the most common conditions general medicine doctor can treat include but are not limited to:
A general medicine doctor can arrange a wide range of tests, such as electrocardiogram, blood pressure test, urinalysis (U/A), blood sugar level, and fecal occult blood tests. They may also arrange laboratory investigations, such as blood tests or other fluid samples from other parts of the body. Occasionally, they may also arrange a biopsy for diagnosis, which will be sent to a pathologist for analysis. General medicine doctors can also work with radiologists to use X-rays, MRI, CT scans, or ultrasound, as well as nuclear medicine specialists for certain tests, such as PET scans. They may also refer patients to another specialty for special tests, such as a cardiologist for an angiogram and a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy.
Common procedures or interventions that general medicine doctor perform are as follows:
You can leave the medical facility immediately after, plan to stay at least 2 to 5 days in Brazil for a follow-up appointment. During the follow-up appointment, your doctor evaluates how your body is responding to treatment or, if you had diagnostic tests, explain the results, and discuss the treatment plan with you. However, if your doctor tells you that no follow-up appointment is necessary, you should be allowed to leave for home on the same day.
Recovery time can be different from one person to another, depending on the illness or disease you have and your overall health. You will be advised to take several days off work and avoid strenuous activities to allow your body to recover. Your doctor will let you know the specific time you can return to work and your normal activity.
Your doctor will give you an aftercare instruction tailored to your particular condition, which may include activity restriction and recommended diet. Your doctor may likely prescribe medicine as well. It is important to take the medicine as directed and follow all the instructions closely. They will also let you know if you need follow-up appointments. For certain illnesses, they may refer you to a specific specialist.
For many people, general medicine is the first point of treatment. It has a high success rate in diagnosing and treating many conditions, as well as referring patients to the relevant specialist for specialized treatments. Experienced and skilled general medicine doctors can learn a great deal by simple observation. Looking at hands, nails, skin, mouth, and eyes, as well as examining your lungs, heart, and abdomen can give them some clues and help them decide on the most appropriate tests to undertake to confirm their clinical suspicions.
The alternatives depend on your condition. For example, you should be able to see a cardiologist for heart conditions without talking to your general medical doctor first. However, in some cases, you may need a referral from your general medical doctor to see other specialists.
Whilst the information presented here has been accurately sourced and verified by a medical professional for its accuracy, it is still advised to consult with your doctor before pursuing a medical treatment at one of the listed medical providers. This content was last updated on 27/02/2023.