Most of us stick with one general practitioner for years, probably without thinking much about what kind of health carer we really need.
We have regular check-ups and annual vaccination so that we don’t get the flu and a shot of whooping cough vaccine before a new grandchild arrives. We need new prescriptions for our chronic illnesses. Over eighties must present yearly for an assessment before their Driver’s License can be renewed.
Occasionally we fall and our injuries demand urgent attention.
The general practitioner notes our new aches and pains, diagnoses our condition or refers us for further consultation. He or she reassures us and allays our fears.
Most doctors do a good job, and some are fabulous at what they do. But some just seem to be too old, tired, bored or preoccupied for the job you pay them to do
Twenty signs you need a new general practitioner
You need to find someone else if they
- Don’t greet you by your name, don’t appear to remember you or call you by another name
- ‘Forget’ to wash their hands before and after touching you and so exposing you and others to infection
- Ask about an ailment you didn’t know you had. (I once knew someone who had hypertension. He went to his doctor who asked about his diabetes!)
- Do not listen attentively when you tell them your symptoms
- Discount your pain as unimportant
- Over medicate you even to the extent that you can’t think, sleep or remember things
- Attempt to discredit you when you suggest a diagnosis. I wrote a blog about that. You can find it by clicking here.
- Ask, ‘What do you expect at your age?’ Obviously, you expect a better doctor
- Tell you, ‘Most people your age experience ….’ (strokes, memory loss – whatever worries you}
- Don’t ask what matters to you
- Act reluctant when you ask for a referral for a second opinion
- Discount or discredit information about you from consultations with others
- Have never asked if you live alone or with others
- Do not know whether or not a person you live with can care for you if you are ill
- Assume you have someone to look after you if you are ill or discharged from hospital
- Laugh when you talk about your recent Google search for health information
- Never suggest ways you can help prevent illness
- Discount any sadness you might experience and instead try to medicalise it as depression
- Overcharge you
- Over-service you by ordering too many tests and unnecessart diagnostic procedures
- Keep you waiting every appointment without explanation or apology
- Use equipment that you recognise as from another era
- Work in a messy environment that makes you wonder how long ago the damned building, office or desk had a good clean.
If you are not satisfied with the performance of your general practitioner, you can begin by discussing your issues with them or with the manager of the practice. You can also find another doctor better suited to your needs with no explanation necessary.