Posted on: 20 March 2018
If you develop a flu you just can't shake or find a lump where one just doesn't belong, your first port of call is probably your general practitioner. But have you ever stopped to consider the scope of medical issues your GP sees in a day?
General practitioners face one of the most diverse jobs on the planet, and their daily duties go far beyond writing prescriptions. So what exactly does your general practitioner do all day?
Of course, your general practitioner is primarily involved with diagnosing a range of illnesses, from flus and viruses to far more serious cancers and heart conditions. But sometimes the course of a patient's symptoms just isn't that obvious, and your GP must engage in some detective work.
Your GP doesn't do this alone, but rather works in consultation with a host of other medical professionals. From authorising tests of blood, urine and other bodily fluids to writing referrals to specialist doctors, your general practitioner is constantly using the resources of the medical community in seeking answers to the questions your body is asking when it presents with an ache or a case of the spots.
General practitioners excel at problem solving, as their jobs require them to take a disparate list of symptoms—some constantly present while others are coming and going—and formulate a theory about what is occurring in the body in the chair before them. When you consider that one symptom can be seen across a range of illnesses and conditions, you can understand the complexity of the problem solving they engage in.
While no one particularly looks forward to a visit to their GP, sometimes it's quite literally just what the doctor ordered. From listening to the physical pain their patients are suffering to taking complex mental health histories when providing referrals to psychologists and counsellors, your GP is paying attention to make sure you get the exact health care you need.
Despite spending up to 11 years at university, general practitioners also strive to continue their education through conferences and staying up to date with emerging research in many fascinating and evolving aspects of medicine. When a virus sweeps the neighbourhood or members of the community begin to show resistance to a particular type of antibiotic, your GP is already ahead of the game.
So next time you visit your general practitioner, take a moment to marvel at how they've spent their day. Whatever kind of help you need, they're bound to be able to provide it.Share