August 3, 2013 by helenhamill
- Too many people dread doctor’s appointments.
- Too many people know they get poor value at a doctor’s appointment
- Too many people go in HOPEFUL and come out disillusioned from doctor’s appointment.
My parents’ generation still go in and come out with a “thank-you Doctor”, hanging off every word they are told.
We are VULNERABLE and BEGGING for genuine help when we make an appointment.
- as if you are imagining illness?
- as if they have never heard such waffle?
a DOCTOR’s nowadays, is not a place where a really ethical, nerdy, caring 24/7 man operates from during the night…Those were the doctors of my childhood.
- ….Dr Brennan….the man who drove my father to Belfast and walked with him to the Neurosurgery department and said “This man NEEDS to be seen” – when nobody here recognised his brain tumor….the man who could be called out with his trousers on over his pyjamas to see a sick person
- …Dr Mulhern was another of them…would call a depressed patient late in the evening to see how they were…the man who told me that my 2 yr old with horrific tantrums would grow up and make me proud of hat strong personality – he did!
- …Dr Kerrin would pop out to see your HOT baby and ask for a cuppa, as he subtly watched was the child lethargic…and you weren’t aware when he ruffled the wee head that he was feeling for a flat fontanelle!
- …Ann is an old fashioned doctor. She is my GP. she cares for me holistically. And has frequently called in earl morning or late evening – while doing paperwork…in other words NOT typing throughout your restricted appointment slot! Sadly Ann is an old-fashioned doctor, struggling to practice her vocational medicine in a NEW restricted world!
so i have devised a method to BEAT the system, to be seen, be appropriately treated, and appropriately referred on.!
- NEVER be in AWE of a doctor. He is a body mechanic. Nothing more. He may carry an attitude more than a toolkit, but that is his mistake. He is a HUMAN. He can be wrong. He merely has a different JOB than you, not BETTER!. But never feel that he knows best about your condition…YOU are the one who feels it…so in effect YOU know more about its symptoms than he does. In case you panic when you go in, WRITE a list and make sure you get through everything on the list.
- If your Doctor, be it a GP, or a Consultant, looks at his watch, the clock or the TIME, pull him up on that! do NOT accept such blatant disrespect. If he is thinking of his next appointment , he is NOT deeply considering yours. Perhaps an “excuse me, am I boring you? I have just noticed you watch the time? ” and if he whinges about his tight schedule, remind him YOU are part of that and are NOW feeling VERY undervalued! He may well change his attitude.
- Ask for a COPY of the notes made on any appointment you felt unhappy with. This can be alarming, as you may not recognise the day you complained about a very significant real of your life and he may have recorded a WORD! This is a VERY effective method of warning your Doctor of 2 things. Firstly that you are aware of your rights to see your file at ANY stage. And secondly, that HE needs to up his game…you are watching how you are being treated. An equally effective thing, having done this once, and seen how abysmally the notes tally with the appointment from YOUR view, is to BRING him a copy of the list you bring in, so that he can FULLY record your symptoms – this if he misses a significant symptom, it is there -recorded…and he can NOT deny you said it. Both nice ideas,
- Do NOT take an ANTIBIOTIC – UNLESS you have a raised white cell count!. my kids will NOT get MRSA …with my help! yes it means a blood test to prove or disprove, BUT it is better in long-run. No bacteria, no point in taking an antibiotic. No thanks Doc. So unless blood confirms the need, then WHY blast yourself or your child and ruin their immune system?
- Read the word VIRUS as Doctor talk for “gee, i dunno!” If he/she says virus, YOU ask for viral screening. There ARE ways of proving it is a virus, in the absence of THIS OPT OUT word, the Doctor should keep looking. Search a bit? Research a bit? Think outside the box! The really frustrating part for me, is that if this PERSON in front of you is over 40, they qualified for medicine when an A in A-level meant something! they have great intelligence. With that should come the ability to think, to join dots and to admit they will have to think and get back to you!
- if you have, and know you have a “RARE DISEASE” as i have. Tip one contact @speccymcspec on twitter – she is a great source of signposting to valuable rare disease information. The oracle for me! So that when facing that neurologist and giving him your written list of symptoms and discussing your brain, an he is looking down over the glasses at eh pleb in the patient’s chair, and writing a prescription for migraine,you do what i did the SECOND time – you say which of my symptoms could NOT be caused by my brain malformations? And when he blunders on about migraine, you REPEAT the question , perhaps followed by “I have read widely on the condition, and I can assure you they can ALL be explained by my condition – so will you please refer me to the Neurosurgeon” ….first time that he and I met, i went in and sat won, was dismissed and was stunned….NEVER again will i be treated like that at an appointment!
- RESEARCH. Doctors as a rule, HATE and have an amusing acronym for patients who do research, BUT, if YOU can access information, and your symptoms match, then they should be able to access ten times more information! in which case, the onus is on them to disprove your symptoms…i do now bring a timeline of symptoms if discussing any of my rare or more serious conditions….once again, they then have a COPY, and that means can NOT ignore what you are saying as you have it on file, exactly when they were given the details.
- If having a SCAN or a BIOPSY, never accept the partial report by word of mouth. Have had the bit of a biopsy shown and highlighted to us that said “no malignant cells” – he didn’t show the part that said, “this is by NO MEANS a conclusive biopsy!” and thankfully we did NOT go by it. We have also got a summative report from a cardiac appointment – and when we demanded the full scan report (as we are FULLY entitled), there were some very definite statistics and facts NOT on the report we got. ASK…. in fact DEMAND your own results – not a doctor’s summary of them! It’s been an amazing experience for us, seeing the difference in the level of information about YOU that they have but do not necessarily offer to YOU!
- be BALLSY. Demand another opinion , if you feel you need it! Ask fro refusal in writing – with a reasoning against it being needed. Did you know, for instance, that in the absence of a local expert, your local Health Trust (and i use the word trust so loosely) CAN be approached to send you to an expert in UK? That means you get a supportive MLA and push like hell, and you CAN do it! Accept what you get and you will be left with it!
- YOU ARE THE EXPERT BY EXPERIENCE. Do NOT be quietened. do NOT be convinced you are imagining it. Ask what conditions could cause this gamut of conditions… the stranger the condition, the more you need to move until you find the right specialist in medicine , Ask your Doctor, what EXPERIENCE he has in this condition? That can be an interesting as i found out in Neurology – never met both of my malformations together! Discover this and again, you have the upper hand on what next! Here again, it is your right to be Proactive and not reactive . PUSH before things go badly wrong. We don’t have a specialist for that….is NOT an enforceable position. YOU can be seen. MONEY can never be used as a reason for no more tests or referrals. Once a need has been addressed, it can NEVER be dismissed on financial grounds! Let folks know you know your rights!
The GOD COMPLEX of medics needs and deserves to be challenged.
LEGALLY, YOU are entitled to all your notes!
YOU must be given FULL information if you ask anything…otherwise the doctor will decide what you are able for. do YOU accept an assessment of your ability? i don’t!….ask for FULL information.
are the treatments you are given being used as on the prescription or in an off-label way? If you KNOW this, you will notice the doctor takes more care.
just you man up, and take it in your stride….
and try NOT to enjoy it too much
GET well…you are entitled to!