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Real members of MyCOPDTeam have posted questions and answers that support our community guidelines, and should not be taken as medical advice. Looking for the latest medically reviewed content by doctors and experts? Visit our resource section.

Can My Family Physician Accurately Diagnose What Stage Of COPD I Have?

Can My Family Physician Accurately Diagnose What Stage Of COPD I Have?

posted November 19
A MyCOPDTeam Member

Maybe, maybe not. I had a GP who was excellent and who diagnosed me in 2000 on the basis of a spirometry test, which was unheard of then. He prescribed O2 for me and encouraged me to use it for exercise. I don't know whether he could have told me what my stage was then, because for the most part no one thought in those terms. The only thing he wasn't very up to date on was meds, and I was prescribed Advair instead of an inhaled steroid only by a pulmonologist in 2004. Some family practice docs are very up to date on COPD and others have no clue. It really depends on who your doc is and the experience they've had. A good family practice doc will tell you what they know and what they don't know; others will try to bluff their way through it. You'll have to figure out what you have, but the best way is to get their diagnosis and then see a pulmonologist to see what they do. You'll know whether your PCP is worth their salt then.

posted November 19
A MyCOPDTeam Member

Hi @A MyCOPDTeam Member - I agree with @A MyCOPDTeam Member - quite some time ago I was told by one doctor my copd was "end stage" and the other, stage 4. I told them both to never tell me those things again! I'll fight this damned copd as long as I can. But if you really want to know, trust the pulmonary specialist - just my opinion.

posted November 20
A MyCOPDTeam Member

No, I don't think so, unless you've recently had all the pulmonary tests that lead to your lung function, for the doctor to read from. Everyone with a lung disease should have a pulmonologist, to establish care, and then to see if necessary later, or to call.

posted November 19
A MyCOPDTeam Member

I was reluctant to know what stage I'm in too. I don't know why other than an extension of the fear I'm always living with, and my tendency to deliberately avoid looking at it. But one day while reading Doctor's notes I saw it. And so now I know. It really doesn't change how much I still try to advocate for myself. I got to have some counselling and that really helped.

posted November 20
A MyCOPDTeam Member

@Hugsfromrosie I don't know about your doctor, but I wouldn't trust my PCP to tell me. However I'd rather not know what stage I'm in, so I'm not much help.

posted November 20

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