5 Reasons to Skip That Visit to Your Primary-Care Doctor

A visit to your doctor may not always be the best idea. Here's five common reasons to skip that primary care office visit.

Sanaz Majd, MD
3-minute read
Episode #210

Previously, I’ve addressed the top five symptoms that no woman and no man should ever ignore. These articles include symptoms that can be benign, but have a potential for consequences, such as chest pain, passing out, bleeding through any orifice, and more.

But some of you may have been wondering: what are a few of those symptoms that don't necessitate a visit to the primary care doctor’s office? Who wants to pay that extra co-pay when it’s unnecessary, right?

Most symptoms honestly take some teasing out, as simple as they may seem. This is the precise reason it’s not easy to address symptoms over the patient portal or emails with your doctor. Therefore, there aren’t too many symptoms I’d recommend skipping that visit to the doctor for, especially without examining a patient in person.

However, nine times out of ten, you can skip a visit to your primary care doctor for these five symptoms:

1.  Dental Pain

I am always surprised to find that so many patients neglect their teeth. It may seem easy to bypass the yearly dental visit (honestly, who in their right mind enjoys the dentist). But once a year should really be a preventative effort. I know this because I more often than not see a patient in the office with tooth agony.  Even though your physician will be able to prescribe you antibiotics for a “presumed” infection or tooth decay, we cannot tell you exactly what may be going on. This is why dentists train for four years minimum. In this case, skip the doctor, see the dentist.

2. Vision Correction

Apart from children, who get screened at the physician’s office for potential visual changes, your physician will not be able to prescribe glasses or contact lenses … or perform a complete eye exam, for that matter. Our eye chart is basic. And it’s simply a screener.So if you are having gradual changes in your vision and/or believe you may need vision correction, skip your physician. You do not need a referral to see an optometrist, a professional who thoroughly checks your vision and prescribes glasses/contact lenses.


Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.