Do I need a cardiologist?

Long story short: we don’t have a family doctor (we do have a great pediatrician for the kids). Not too long ago, I needed to see a doctor about a rash in my hand. I went to the wife of our pediatrician who has a family practice sharing his office. While talking about my rash, she made a couple questions, took my blood pressure and decided I needed to be medicated for high blood pressure. Just like that, on the spot.

My family history and lifestyle make high blood pressure quite a possibility. I am not fighting the diagnosis. I just found it funny that she would medicate me without any kind of further examination or follow up.

I decided to see a cardiologist about this. There aren’t any in my village :rolleyes: . I have gotten many recommendations for generalists, though. Is this something that a good family practicioner can handle just fine or should I make the extra effort to drive to the city (certain to send my BP through the roof) to see a cardiologist?

If you DO have high blood pressure, you need a cardiologist to help manage your condition.

If you DON’T have high blood pressure, you need a second opinion, from a cardiologist.

That’s my opinion, anyway. Take the trip to the city and see what a specialized has to say for you.

My mother has high blood pressure, managed by prescription drugs of various sorts, which she has managed with the help of various GPs, Urgent Treatment Centers, and (I think) an oncologist or two.

Some have (mostly) renewed existing prescriptions, others have worked with her to adjust her dosages or which particular medications she was on. She may have seen a cardiologist at some point, but not routinely.

I’d vote for get a more thorough physical/check-up with bloodwork for general health with an ordinary doctor before going for the specialist.

It wouldn’t hurt to see one, no. But, my dad hasn’t been to a cardiologist due to his high blood pressure. His family doctor has done fine treating his High BP on his own.

I’d probably go to a different family practice doc for a second opinion and let them give you a referral to a cardiologist if needed. Or at least a good explanation as to why they can treat you, an explanation that satisfies you.

Don’t waste your time with doctors who are reluctant to explain the “whys” of their treatment of you.

I disagree.

Any good Family Medicine doc or internist can manage 99.9% of primary hypertension. Cardiologists are reserved for more complicated stuff than that.

Otherwise, I have to say I’d ask this latest doc of yours some questions; why meds after only one reading? Now if the blood pressure was extremely high (and “extremely high” depends on the person and circumstance) I can see starting something right then and there.

In less dire circumstances, a few readings over a few hours or days at least, might be nice to have before starting therapy.

Agreed. In fact, if your HTN is uncontrolled and your primary physician is at the edge of his/her experience, your next best bet is probably a nephrologist (kidney doctor).

And remember, the ER is not a place for primary care. I think I might make that my sign line.

Thanks for the feedback. My reading that day was just borderline high. I am normally on the high end of the normal range. This is why I doubted the wisdom of that doctor. I am young, healthy and well motivated by two very young kids. Even if my BP needed to be managed, I am sure that some lifestyle changes might get the trick done (I started with those anyways). If that fails, then we can look at pills (even if they are easier, I would save them for a last resort).

I think I will go the **QtM ** way. Find a good GP (I guess I need one, anyways. I am not getting younger). I they find something of concern, then I will look for a cardiologist.