Monday, May 31, 2010

How your Primary Doc Makes a Referral to a Specialist--the reason may NOT be what you expect

When your primary care doc finds something concerning, alarming, or otherwise worthy of further perusal, you assume the specialist he/she is sending you to is a product of much thought, concern, and motivated by sending you to the "best" person, after all your, primary doc should know.

Actually, there may be a lot of reasons (akin to the "free pens" from the pharma reps) why your doc might send you somewhere, and reasons that have nothing to do with medicine and your condition.

This doctor tells us:

Here are some reasons, beyond medical quality, why certain medical specialists are chosen.

• Reciprocity –- patients are referred in both directions
• Personal relationships
• Corporate enforcement keeping consultations within the network
• Economic pressure exerted by consultants to maintain referrals. I have seen this happen.
• Specialist willingness to do tests and procedures on request
• Habit
• Patient or family request

That is, you might serve yourself a little better by doing some research on your OWN and seeing how things compare instead of immediately being sent to the guy's goofball neer-do-well brother-in-law who will supposedly figure out what that suspicious lump is.

Read more here.

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