GPs are medical specialists. We are trained to diagnose both minor and serious illness, in people of all age, from new-born babies to the elderly. No other medical specialists have such a broad scope of practice.
GPs are trained in managing minor illness, mostly allowing you to recover at home without the need for hospitalisation.
Where a more serious condition is diagnosed your GP will liaise with hospital specialists to co-ordinate care at all times.
In many instances symptoms of trivial and serious/sinister conditions overlap, and may even be identical. To assist us in separating minor from serious illness we use many diagnostic facilities. This includes blood tests, ECG heart tests, 24hour blood pressure monitoring, Spirometry for asthma and COPD, Pulse Oximetry and screening for Atrial Fibrillation (a leading cause of stroke).
When your condition warrants, we regularly use hospital based investigations, including X-rays and ultrasound, CT and MRI scans. We work closely with our hospital colleagues and if required further investigation can be arranged ( eg- cardiology investigations such as exercise testing, angiography). GPs are trained to identify the ideal investigation, and how best to access such tests.