Top Ten Dr. Visit Reasons
- Skin disorders
- Osteoarthritis and joint pain
- Back problems
- Cholesterol problems
- Upper respiratory conditions (not including asthma)
- Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder
- Chronic neurologic problems
- High blood pressure
- Headaches and migraines
All of these problems should be handled in a primary care office. With the shortage of primary care doctors, however, we can expect health care expenditures to continue rising if these common problems are taken to specialists. In my community it is difficult to find dermatologists who will see "skin disorders" and most do not accept any insurance. They are happy to deal with cosmetic dermatology and biopsies but not routine dermatologic conditions.
Most orthopedic specialists are not interested in dealing with osteoarthritis, back pain or joint problems that do not require surgery or arthroscopy.
With less than 2% of medical students expressing an interest in primary care medicine it will be interesting to see where the bulk of patients will be getting their care in the future.