Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Handy pointers for GPs

It's unreasonable to assume that GPs are being obnoxious on purpose, so in the interest of fairness, here are some handy hints for GPs not to be arseholes.
  • If you ask a question, listen to the answer. Asking the same question four times doesn't inspire confidence.
  • If you send the patient for tests, book the tests you've been told you need to book.
  • Don't refer to a patient's "private parts", it makes you sound like a nervous school kid.
  • Not all diseases have read the text book, if the patient reports symptoms that don't match your memory of said text book, don't correct the patient, they probably didn't have the virus (or whatever) conspire to confound you.
  • If you're going to write down the results of observations, it's a good idea to actually make them (see next point).
  • If you are going to bother to make some observations, try doing it long enough to actually observe something.
  • NEVER tell a patient who has come to you because they're in pain, that they are not, in fact, in pain.
  • If you tell a patient they need a script, write out the script, without needing to be prompted by the patient. 
  • Don't pretend you're a super hero, lines like "Never fear, Dr XXXXX is here" aren't even endearing when you are a good doctor.
  • Finally, if the patient has been crying the entire time they've been in your office, don't send them on their way with a cheery "Have a wonderful day!" - it makes you look like an arsehole.
This handy list brought to you by a single visit to a single doctor. He was that good.


  1. How horrible!!!! I'm sorry you had to go through that. Remind me to tell you about my epic pathology visit sometime if you need a laugh/wtf.

  2. !!! That's an awesiome pile of Fail for one person.

  3. Sounds really bad! I've got a good doctor at present, but he's so good that it's hard to get to see him. However, all the doctors in the practice are good, which makes me start to wonder if it's something to do with their group norms within the practice. Obviously, I don't see their consultations with other patients, but I do see the way that they come out and greet people, offer assistance to people who have mobility impairments, speak courteously to their front desk staff, treat the nursing team with respect.

  4. @Chally: Sounds like a barrel of laughs. I'm sure you were seeing the funny side at the time....

    @Aphie: It was impressive, wasn't it? The whole visit did take 3hrs though.

    @Deborah: My normal GP is a dead set legend, and most of the people in the practice are good too, but this was a Sunday and my practice (being a uni campus one) isn't open on the weekend. This was a doctor in a hospital GP clinic. I've had good experiences previously with GP clinics, but at a different hospital.

    It's definitely a major boon to have a good GP, as part of a good practice.

  5. Wow, that's one impressive list.

    My GP is great, but his partner in the practice leaves a lot to be desired. Thing is, the partner was my GP through all my pregnancies and when the kids were little and he was fine, fantastic even. Then his manner started to change, he stopped being as engaged, didn't seem to remember who we were any more and I switched to the other doctor. My guess is depression or something. I feel bad about jumping ship but there's only so many times I could stand to hear his lecture on the anatomy of the ear in children and the last straw was his helpful reminder that I have an increased risk of bowel cancer because that's what my father-in-law died from.

  6. You've got to be careful who you marry, you never know what genetic heritage you might be acquiring.... Wow.

  7. Oh my goodness. I can hardly imagine. Sounds almost as bad as several of my OB doctors. Luckily, I ended up with a true gem for Brielle's delivery. I hope you are feeling better.