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19th November, 20192 min read

7 times you may not need to see a doctor

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Have you ever gone to the doctor for a health problem, only to be told you could have managed it at home?

If so, you're not alone.

The majority of visits we all make to see the doctor are unnecessary because they are often for minor health problems that we can look after ourselves. In fact, a study of the medical records of UK general practices found that 90% of doctor’s consultations were for minor ailments and 88% of those could have been managed by the patient - a practice known as self-care.

There’s no official list of conditions you should care for at home, but the image below is a good starting point. It outlines 7 health problems you may not need to see a doctor for.

But you don’t have to do it all by yourself. If you have a minor condition that causes uncomfortable symptoms, your local pharmacist can be a useful source of advice on how to best manage these symptoms.

If a minor complaint becomes worse or doesn’t improve with self-care, you should see a doctor or another health professional.

Got a symptom you’re concerned about? Use our Self-Assessment Tool to find out if you need to see a doctor.

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.