Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Specialist's Feel

One of the reasons we go to medical specialists is to get the benefit of their "feel" for the particular branch of medicine they specialize in, as well as their didactic knowledge thereof.  That's something you just can't get by reading "I Am Joe's Big Toe" in Reader's Digest (is RD even around anymore?) or by getting your medical information online - no matter how good the website is.  It's why your family physician refers you to a board-certified specialist in the first place, because he or she doesn't feel comfortable with the latest cutting edge research in that particular area.  (With so much research going on these days, it's truly impossible for a family physician to keep up on every new development.)  On the other hand, the specialist can't "know you" as well as your family physician probably does - assuming that you've kept up with your regular check-ups, of course.  So the ideal situation is when both physicians, the generalist and the specialist, communicate seamlessly.  Anyway, that's how it's supposed to work.  Now if your "specialist" is a chiropractor, naturopath, homeopath (or some other type of crystal-ball gazer) all bets are off.  Instead of going up a step on the staircase of science, you've fallen off and cracked your head.