General Consultation

Also referred to as a medical consultation, a general consultation is a meeting between a physician and a patient. Common goals include taking preventive measures to halt the development of various diseases particularly for patients who have risk factors, obtain a diagnosis for symptoms being experienced by the patient, or in the case of an annual checkup, to reassess the patient’s risk of various medical conditions.

A patient may see different types of physicians all throughout his life, as he grows older or as certain conditions are being identified. For example, children and young adults are often seen by pediatricians. By the time they reach adulthood, doctors known as internists take over. Internists, on the other hand, can subspecialize in a variety of fields including but not limited to orthopedics (joints and bones), cardiology (heart), neurology (nervous system), and enterology (intestinal tract). Seniors are handled by those who specialize in geriatrics.

Although a general consultation is often sought for medical issues that affect the body, it also deals with the patient’s mental health. A meeting with a psychologist and/or psychiatrist is also considered a general consultation.

How Does the Procedure Work?

There are two ways on how patients can initiate a general consultation: they are either recommended by their primary doctor, or they personally approach a specialist. If it is the former, the primary doctor is responsible for forwarding any existing medical record of the patient to the specialist. This is important so the patient does not have to go through the same physical exams and answer the same questions during the medical interview.

If it is the latter, the patient sets up an appointment with a clinic or hospital where the doctor is working. An ideal schedule is then provided.

During the consultation, the doctor conducts a thorough medical review by asking questions. The questions may cover symptoms, general condition or feeling of the patient, any health concerns, and the results of previous medical tests.

A consultation may take at least 30 minutes and often does not require any special preparation.