ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.

How do you reply to this question?

(55 Posts)
ormirian Tue 18-Mar-14 10:38:17

I rang the GP yesterday to make an appointment. Was asked if it was an emergency - as i was not in danger on imminent death I said no. So the receptionist arranged for a doctor to ring me back. Doctor rang me back, asked a few question and then said;

"What exactly were you hoping to get from us today?"

Not sarcastically, not rudely, not whilst (I don't think) rolling her eyes, jsut in a matter of fact sort of way. I didn't know what to say apart from 'I am in a lot of pain. I would like some help finding out what is wrong and stopping it'.

What answer was she expecting? Am I unreasonable to be a bit confused by this question? Is it a new sort of NHS corporate speak ? Or was she genuinely unsure of her purpose?

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Mar-14 10:41:27

Sounds like a box ticking exercise to me-if they have a phone appointment ask that question?

Did you get an appointment?

offblackeggshell Tue 18-Mar-14 10:42:00

My GP asked something similar during an appointment recently. It was meant well, I think. She genuinely wanted to know what I wanted. It did feel very odd. Especially since our old GP was of the "what qualifies you to say your leg has fallen off" variety.

I'm sure it is meant to be some sort of good practice thing. I think your response was right, if that helps.

RaRa1988 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:48:31

No, I think that's fine - and common practice. They seem to have to allow the ptn to ask for what they want first. You might have said, for example, that you wanted to up your dose of codeine because it doesn't seem to be working, or that you were concerned about X condition, or that you wanted an scan for a possible DVT. I think they're trying to address your concerns before leaping in with what they think ought to be done.

hunreeeal Tue 18-Mar-14 10:53:55

You gave a good answer. Maybe they're just checking they haven't overlooked what you were hoping for.

deakymom Tue 18-Mar-14 10:55:38

yup been asked that question too i had pulled a muscle in my back she asked me what i wanted i said a, reassurance it wont last for ever and b, some better painkillers! i got both grin

Cookiepants Tue 18-Mar-14 10:57:23

It's the sort of thing they like us to say - I know it sounds odd. I work on a cardiology ward and we have to ask 'what brought you to hospital today?' Even though we have a fair idea grin.

Our GP always asks "so what do you think is wrong?" And I was always a bit hmm about that. I asled a GP friend and she explained its now standard practice as the patient may mention something that is a red flag (for a more serious illness), or make a reasonable suggestion that the GP hasnt thought of yet.

males sens.e

Topaz25 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:00:16

That question would annoy me TBH. She's a doctor, she should realise you want the pain to stop! Instead of asking pointless questions to look like they're listening to patients, why don't they actually listen to patients?!

DidoTheDodo Tue 18-Mar-14 11:02:23

"I'd like to work with children and see World Peace". Oh, maybe not....

hunreeeal Tue 18-Mar-14 11:04:53

"so what do you think is wrong?"

I'd be really annoyed by that!

I loved that mine asked me what I thought was wrong for loads of reasons. Firstly it makes you feel involved in your healthcare, secondly it's so they can see if you have some anxiety ie. afraid its cancer etc

Like any slightly anxious interested in health care person I'd been googling and had come up with 2 answers.

He was happy I had and explained that he thought it was more likely one of them and as that was easiest to treat he gave me a prescription and said to come back in 5 days as it would clear by then if it was the first one.

I hate feeling powerless when I go to the doctor and also don't like being made to feel like a piece of meat or dismissed - I actually changed doctors as my previous one didn't even look at me as I went in the room and before I said anything told me to go and get on the scales (I was there because my finger was infected!)

drspouse Tue 18-Mar-14 11:14:59

Ours often ask you to explain the problem and then say "so how can we help you/what were you hoping for today". I find that useful, though it took a bit of getting used to. It does mean you can mention you'd like some new migraine drugs/advice on toddler constipation/referral to paeds rather than waiting for them to suggest it. They might not think it's appropriate though.

I guess it also prevents the "angling for antibiotics" crowd from hinting that they may have "an infection" (they do, it's viral) when they are given an open door to say "well some antibiotics please doctor" and then the doctor can clearly explain why they won't work.

onechicktwochickthreechickfour Tue 18-Mar-14 11:22:47

thing is, there is a big difference between, expecting to see a doctor and expecting to speak with a doctor.

in the first case you would have been disappointed but in the second case you would have been satisfied becuase you have spoken with the doctor.

Just out of my personal curiosity...was the doctor english, becuase ive found in my humble experience (seeing doctors and specialists weekly at one point) is that the nuances of our language may not be portrayed in the same way by non native speaking people. Im not slagging anyone off, im just suggesting taht the nuance is off....

for a pararrell.... when you say 'i dont like that skirt'
are you saying:
i dont like that skirt
I dont like that skirt
I dont like that skirt
i dont like that skirt
I dont like that skirt
each one means something different depending on where the stress is. in a text message you would just get 'i dont like that skirt' and you would miss the nuance.

I hope im making sense... if not just ignore me!

HaPPy8 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:26:01

I think its great. Shows they want to make sure you get what you want to out of the appointment, instead of them making assumptions and you going away feeling like your concern hasn't been addressed.

CbeebiesIsMyLife Tue 18-Mar-14 11:27:51

I phoned the midwife unit and got asked this question. I turned into a blubbering in comprehensible mess!

It's a stupid question!

hunreeeal Tue 18-Mar-14 11:31:56

Some doctors are quite dismissive and rude if you suggest what you think is wrong.

littleballerina Tue 18-Mar-14 11:35:42

I'd have replied 'an appointment'.

Marylou62 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:42:12

Ha! For a year I had really strange headaches...wont bore you all...was at Drs a lot...MRI, Xrays, blood tests etc etc. In the middle of this I was asked if I had any idea what it could be. I told them I thought it could be X...some very strange/rare thing that I'd read about ages ago...(rightly so) they gave me the look as if to say...Okay. Turns out I was right!!! Nothing life threatening but...I am glad they asked me as was so fed up with the constant headaches. Since the diagnosis it has been much better I must add.

NightFallsFast Tue 18-Mar-14 11:42:55

New GPs are trained to ask about 'ideas, concerns and expectations' of the patient, and this sort of question addresses the expectations part. It is meant to make the patient feel included in making decisions about their own care and give patients the opportunity to voice their thoughts.

In reality I use it with some patients, when I think it would be helpful. The risk with asking patients for their opinion is that thy can think that you don't know what's going on and are fishing for ideas, or they say 'you're the dr, you tell me what the problem is' etc.

As you can see from the thread, different oeople like different consultation styles and as a GP it's not alays easy to tell who wants what style (eg collaborative/directive etc).

Marylou62 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:46:39

hunreeel I must be lucky as all the Drs I saw...and was a lot...were very good, even if they didn't actually help with the eventual diagnosis. I did feel it was all in my 'head' at the time!! Ha! Ha!

Mine tends to ask a question along the lines of "So, does that kind of fit with what you've been reading on the internet?" grin

Marylou62 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:50:25

hunreeel I must be lucky as all the Drs I saw...and was a lot...were very good, even if they didn't actually help with the eventual diagnosis. I did feel it was all in my 'head' at the time!! Ha! Ha!

fluffyraggies Tue 18-Mar-14 11:51:50

good answer op.

i would have been quite taken aback. although it depends on the tone of voice in which the question was asked, of course.

i to think it sounds more like a box ticking exercise than a genuine query. like ''did you get everything you wanted?'' which i get asked routinely somewhere lately. cant remember where.

lainiekazan Tue 18-Mar-14 11:51:58

It depends on the tone of voice in which it is asked.

I can well imagine, "What were you exactly hoping to get from us today?" might be said in a world-weary fashion with barely-disgused sighing, making the patient feel they were a time-wasting irritation.

It might be a reasonable question posed to someone who comes in every week with a trivial minor ailment (that would have been mil) but if you crawl in in pain once in a blue moon it doesn't seem a good choice of words.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now