How a Doctor Visit Works
When something goes wrong with your body you VISIT A DOCTOR to get it working right again!
The first thing your doctor will do when you sit in front of him or her is ask you questions. This is because they need to narrow their search down to what two or three problems you most likely have.
A good interview alone can lead a clinician to a correct guess diagnosis most of the time.
This is because diseases tend to have unique signatures, i.e. their symptoms repeat again and again like fingerprints in persons they strike.
Once your doctor has an idea what might be your problem they then look for proof. This is done by examining you, looking for physical evidence, and through tests related to your complaints.
With all this information together, your doctor then makes a logical calculation of your diagnosis like this:
Symptoms + PHYSICAL FINDINGS + Test Results = Diagnosis
Of these three inputs, physical findings are regarded highest, i.e. if a doctor listens to your chest and hears fluid in it, s/he will treat you for this even if your chest x-ray looks normal and blood tests says that your oxygen level is fine.
After diagnosis your doctor then provides a standardized treatment /prescription for your ailment. These treatments are developed by university hospitals and large clinical trials which compare treatments for effectiveness. The best results from these studies are then printed and circulated as treatment recommendations to physicians.
Diagnosis is very important to doctors because it is the language that doctors think in. A diagnosis X is a name for a disease which has X symptoms, X physical findings, and X test results. The beauty of a diagnosis label is that another doctor seeing you for the first time immediately knows what symptoms you probably have, what to expect physically, and what your treatment should be.
The last step after treatment is follow-up. This means a repeat visit to your doctor where s/he checks that you are back to normal. Chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure where the problem never goes away, need long-term follow-up every couple of months to monitor that the disease is staying under control and not getting worse.