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When should I see a specialist versus a family physician?

For a majority of medical conditions, people can be diagnosed and treated by a family physician. If a referral to a specialist is necessary, a family physician or primary care provider can provide the appropriate referral to ensure you are seen by the correct type of specialist. The primary care provider can often start a treatment, and order the appropriate labs or tests that the specialist would like to have available prior to the initial visit.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.