Alternatives to Doctor Referrals

by admin on November 22, 2010

Alternatives to Doctor Referrals

You want the best course of treatment for your condition or illness. Sometimes, you may disagree with or be wary of the advice given by your primary physician. If you have been referred to a specialist and you do not feel it is the appropriate recommendation for you, there are other options.

Get a Second Opinion

You have the right to obtain a second opinion from a doctor before visiting a specialist. Getting another opinion is common when a doctor has recommended surgery or given a diagnosis. It is your body and your choice as to what your treatment should consist of. Therefore, you want to be 100 percent sure you are making the right decision. It may be best to get a second opinion if:

You do not trust your primary care physician
You are skeptical about treatment
You do not feel that the recommended specialist is right for you

Do not be afraid to ask your primary doctor for a referral for a second opinion, if needed. Remember that it is your right. Usually, your medical group or health plan must approve your doctor’s referral. If your problem is urgent (a serious threat to your life), your plan must reply to your request in three days.

Alternative Therapies

Today, alternative therapy is becoming increasingly popular when patients are told they need to undergo surgery. Whether this is your case, or you are suffering from pain or an illness that is unresponsive to other treatment, you have the option of trying an alternative therapy.


Acupuncture has helped some patients manage pain caused by diseases in the muscles, bones and joints. This includes sprains, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and headaches. The ancient Chinese medicine can also help manage:

Diseases of the nervous system, including recovery from a stroke, nervous disorders like anxiety and depression, and nerve paralysis
Digestive issues such as indigestion, stomach ulcers, gall stones, diarrhea and piles (varicose veins occurring around the anus and rectum)
Respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis
Addictions such as smoking and overeating


The number of people practicing yoga in the United States today has tripled within the past decade, and is now estimated between 15 and 18 million. As yoga practice has become mainstream, curiosity regarding its potential as a therapy for various diseases has also increased. Studies have revealed that yoga can effectively help alleviate stress, which has been linked to high blood pressure. Some yoga practicioners have also found relief from chronic pain from a back injury, as well as knee pain and hip pain. Yoga has also shown to help alleviate anxiety, especially cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Meditation is usually practiced for spiritual purposes, but the benefits of meditation also include physical and mental relaxation. Because of its calming effects, meditation is believed to protect against a number of stress-related health problems.

According to some experts, the benefits of meditation may include:

Relief of stress and/or anxiety
Pain management
Improvements in sleep
Improved mood and symptoms of depression

Research suggests that meditation may boost your heart health and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. In a study published in 2009, scientists discovered that practicing meditation was linked to improved visual memory, a promise for those with Alzheimer’s disease.

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