Should I See a General Practice or Occupational Health Doctor?
Occupational physicians and general practitioners both play an important role in maintaining and managing health.The most appropriate health specialist for you will depend on the nature of your injury and your specific needs. We break down when you should see your GP and when to see an occupational physician.
A general practitioner (GP) is a doctor who specialises in general medical practice. GPs often represent the first point of contact for someone when they are unwell, have an non-critical injury or health concern. They are qualified to treat a range of health conditions. In general, you should see a GP to discuss general health concerns and medical issues incurred outside of the workplace, including:
- Injuries incurred outside of the workplace, eg. sport injuries.
- Back strain or pain incurred outside of the workplace.
- Cold, flu or allergies.
- Filling prescriptions.
- Bowel and cervical screening tests.
- Travel medicals.
- Over 45 health checks.
An occupational health physician is a doctor who specialises in work-related health conditions. Occupational health physicians assess and treat work related injuries, assist in the management of health and safety, manage medical assessments for employees and more. Your employer will be able to provide guidance on when it is appropriate to see an occupational physician. In general, this will be in cases of:
- An injury incurred at work or as a result of a work related task.
- Employee medicals eg. truck driver medicals.
- Exposure to chemicals in the workplace.
- Aches and pains from a desk set up at work.
- Concerns that ill-health may be related to work.
- Health monitoring for potential exposure in the workplace.
Sonic HealthPlus are Australia’s leading provider of occupational and general health services. Find a clinic in your area today.