Primary care physicians often refer their patients to fellow physicians or dermatologists who are specialized in various areas of medicine. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it might be time to plan a referral for your patient.
Certain skin conditions are difficult to diagnose, especially if dermatology or aesthetics are not your areas of expertise. If you can’t make a diagnosis, don’t stress! Other physicians like Dr. Damstetter can help you and your patient get the right diagnosis for the right treatment. As your patient’s primary care physician, you will still be in communication with that patient and Dr. Damstetter will keep you informed about their long-term treatment plan.
Dr. Damstetter specializes in general and cosmetic dermatology, so she has an in-depth understanding of various skin conditions like rashes, skin cancer, hair loss, and other concerns. Giving your patient a referral to a specialist ensures they receive the best course of treatment, especially if they have a specific or uncommon condition that you are unsure how to diagnose it.
If your patient wants a second opinion, that doesn’t mean they had a negative experience with you. Many patients want a second opinion simply to confirm your findings or find other treatment options that better fit their comfort level, lifestyle, or budget.
Maybe your dermatology rotation was a decade ago or maybe your passion is staying stop of cutting-edge recommendations for all specialties. Dr. Damstetter loves to teach and can provide you with detailed notes about the newest treatments and her reasoning for which ones may work the best for specific disorders.
Giving your patient access to healthcare that is closer to where they live and is currently open for appointments creates a better experience for them. If your patient has recently moved farther from you or you are unable to schedule them for an appointment, don’t hesitate to refer them to someone else.
If you plan to refer your patients, the first step is to document the reason for your referral in their medical records. If the patient’s needs are urgent, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter before your patient leaves the office. It’s important to contact the referred specialist directly so that you can provide information about your patient’s medical records, test results, and other important information.
You will also want to create a plan together with the specialist to determine how long the treatment will take, who decides the final medical advice, and how often you will communicate. This will create an easier, less confusing transition for yourself, the specialist, and your patient.
Dr. Liz Damstetter is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in general and cosmetic dermatology as well as aesthetic treatments. If you need a second opinion or your patient needs specialized services, contact Reserve Dermatology & Aesthetics today to schedule a referral with Dr. Damstetter.