To want to change GP because she's a School Mum?

(43 Posts)
penelopepissstop Tue 05-Feb-13 17:55:09

Earlier, I had a filthy, deliberately pointed look from a school Mum which wouldn't worry me apart from the fact she's one of the GP's at my practice.

She was always friendly and nice until recently. I barely know the woman but she has treated my DS a few times.

I wouldn't think anything of it but there's definitely a change - she looks right through me, doesn't smile or say hello if we pass anymore. I'm a decent human being, I'm not a shouty rude patient and I've previously had pleasant conversations with her. The other GP was also a school Mum until she moved her kids. She was in with a clique of ladies I didn't like, one was a proper tyrant but I always considered her a good GP and figured the two situations wouldn't really cause any problems.

If I wasn't right in the middle of a medical situation, I'd move tomorrow but wondered what would you do? I don't relish that she knows personal information about me now I come to think of it...

Of course, it may be nothing other than she thinks I'm a knob and that's fine - it's just uncomfortable....

Euphemia Tue 05-Feb-13 17:58:45

I don't understand why you have such a problem with these women. Maybe you're giving off hostile vibes and they're reacting to that?

TarkaTheOtter Tue 05-Feb-13 18:02:39

If there's another gp at the surgery, or another local surgery I'd change. You need to be able to trust and feel confident with your gp. Changing is not a big deal.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Feb-13 18:03:48

It depends what your practice is like and how big it is.

There are a couple of GPs at my surgery who I vaguely know through other people or lock community things, and it doesn't bother me to be treated by them because they are lovely. If it was a school mum, I might feel more uncomfortable, but wouldn't worry if I could request different doctors easily, which you can at my surgery.

I don't think I'd want to be treated or have my family treated directly by someone I regularly saw on the school run.

Watto1 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:04:59

It would be more than her job is worth to disclose any medical information about you/your DC. She would be struck off. So I wouldn't worry about that. As long as she is professional when you see her in her capacity as a GP, I would ignore any 'looks' in the playground. Easier said than done I know.

HollyBerryBush Tue 05-Feb-13 18:05:57

Perhaps she only mixes with parents who aren't at her surgery? and is deliberately distancing herself from you, as a patient?

LadyMargolotta Tue 05-Feb-13 18:08:44

YANBU. Do you live in a small community? I live in a fairly small community and didn't apply to a local health centre as I would know too many of the patients, and they may feel uncomfortable with me knowing their medical history.

All the GPs etc in the practise come from outside of the community precisely for this reason.

penelopepissstop Tue 05-Feb-13 18:26:49

Euphemia, I don't think it's that to be honest. I get on with most people on a general level.
Thanks all, especially for the reassurance she can't discuss my medical history. It just feels cringingly awkward all of a sudden. I'm not in a small community, but the school is quite close knit. There are two other GP's I can see and have actually done that for years but when it's an appointment for DC I take the first I can and the School Mums are often easier to get an appt. with.

I just need a timely GP move for the whole family. That way I will stop thinking about it. Thanks all.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 05-Feb-13 18:30:16

My Mum is a GP.

I think she is distancing herself from you. Which is only sensible when people seem to think that Drs go around discussing their patients in detail with whoever they bump into in the supermarket...

I'm confused - she's giving you filthy looks AND looking straight through you? Are you sure you've read this right? Sounds to me like she will be trying to ensure professional distance and you're interpreting that as hostility?

Lovelygoldboots Tue 05-Feb-13 19:30:38

My GP was a school Dad, he lives in the same village as me and my DP has done loads of work at his house. His son has left now but I used to see him at the school gate. He knew everything about me and seen me through three pregnancies and depression. He always said hello and was quite friendly. I don't think basic politeness should go out of the window but as everyone knows, the school gate is a minefield.

MummytoKatie Tue 05-Feb-13 20:49:06

My best friend is a GP and she purposely lives 30 mins drive from her practice to avoid this sort of thing. (Also she likes inner city deprived area medicine but has no desire to live there!) To be honest I thought that was the established practice.

Speedos Tue 05-Feb-13 20:56:25

I posted a similar situation not long ago and a lot of people called me weird for feeling uncomfortable seeing my GP every day on the school run (the most recent appt I'd had with her before I knew ours kids were at the same school was about abnormal vaginal bleeding!)

Now I do still take the kids to see her but see another GP for my own appts.

penelopepissstop Tue 05-Feb-13 21:06:08

Speedos, that's exactly it - I just think about some of the stuff I've discussed that will be on my files and she can see it. That makes me a bit freaked but I guess they're used to knowing stuff. It's just a recent shift in attitude. If she's trying to be a professional well, it never worried her before! Last time she saw DS she was lovely....gawd knows!
It's prob a school Mum thing and not a Doctor thing but still, she had just waved to the lady next to me and then shot me the killer l

penelopepissstop Tue 05-Feb-13 21:09:27

Oops, hit post!
Shot me the killer look...it really was odd. Still, at least I know not to be a bumbling Labrador trying to say hi in future...
blush

Speedos Tue 05-Feb-13 21:13:36

I think I noticed I slight change in her when I started seeing the other GP so wasn't sure if it had annoyed her. But last time I took one of the kids in I commented how difficult it is to get an appt with her (which it is), she was ok thar visit.

I actually haven't seen her much this school year because of where my son's classroom is but for all I know next year I could see her everyday!

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Feb-13 21:14:00

I would agree with those who say she is probably keeping her distance because you are a patient. Maybe she didn't realise before. If she was being unprofessional in any way or ignoring you/being rude when you were in the surgery with your child/ren I'd change but otherwise I'm not sure of the problem. You seem to be reading a lot into a lack of "hello" in the playground.

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Feb-13 21:16:32

I seriously think you are overthinking this! She is just a vague acquaintance from the school gates from what you say. Who gave you a "killer" look once, which could have been something or nothing.

TomArchersSausage Tue 05-Feb-13 21:23:16

Not sure about the funny looks. Maybe she is, maybe you are misinterpreting, but I wouldn't feel comfortable about my gp being one of the mums I saw every day in the playground.

I would prefer some distance.

penelopepissstop Tue 05-Feb-13 21:23:44

It's a horrible feeling as I've told the doctor worries and stuff I wouldn't even tell my DP. Above, someone pointed out you have to trust and feel confident with your GP so I'm going to have to move. I just don't need to feel like crap because of 'a l

penelopepissstop Tue 05-Feb-13 21:28:25

This phone - my fingers!
I just wouldn't have cared if anyone else had looked at me like that. The GP's I see have seen me at my most worried and most vulnerable. I am so glad that people here have pointed out that most GPs work half an hour or so away from their communities. This situation must be pretty exceptional. I can't believe I haven't moved earlier thinking about it.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts.

Arithmeticulous Tue 05-Feb-13 21:30:58

I'd get a new GP.

In fact I might have to... I was stuck in a huge traffic queue this morning and was blocked in by a guy stopping in front of me as I tried to turn right. I was showing him the finger when I realised where I knew him from blush

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:25

Er, no it's not uncommon at all. Pretty much any rural community will have a Dr who is also a local parent, who you bump into in the shops, exercise with etc etc.

I live in the middle of the inner city and my GP is a friend of my MiL!

You should have confidence in your GP but to have suddenly lost that because of one glance seems quite OTT.

lancaster Tue 05-Feb-13 21:38:39

Not unreasoanable at all, I wouldn't want to work near where I live because I like to keep work and rest of life separate.

I am a GP, live in the same town I work in and have kids at the local school. Many of our patients also have children at the same school, so similar situation to yours, but I am at the other end of it.

In all honesty, I cannot remember who said what to me, when, how or why - maybe I am just crap but there is not enough headspace to have it all present when I see somebody.
Some of the school parents/patients are also friends, most are not.

A colleague of mine moved because he felt uncomfortable with patients asking him things when he was on the school run/in the local supermarket/walking his dog. I have not found this to be a problem, but also do not mind if people ask me something medial when they happen to see me.

I don't think that there is a right or wrong about it, other than that if you are not comfortable then yes, maybe you should consider changing if/when you can.

And yy confidentiality is vital - I would never discuss anything with anybody, really goes without saying.

motherinferior Tue 05-Feb-13 21:51:10

I've seen my GP at the school gates and dropped in at her place to pick up DD1 for years now. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I don't get out much.

yaimee Tue 05-Feb-13 21:51:42

Yanbu I wouldn't be worried about her disclosing personal information but I would hate the idea that someone I was uncomfortable with had such personal information about me or that I had to speak to them about personal matters.
Cliques are horrible, you're right to stay away and rise above it!

PurpleStorm Tue 05-Feb-13 21:54:22

I agree that she's probably just keeping her distance because she's realised that you're one of her patients.

The GMC recommend that doctors don't treat family members for a number of reasons, including because doctors can lack objectivity if they're emotionally involved with a patient - obviously, you aren't family, but the GP may feel that she doesn't want to get too friendly with patients in case she can't remain objective.

But if you no longer feel confident using your current GP practice, it's probably best to consider moving GPs.

Hatescolds Tue 05-Feb-13 22:03:19

Are you sure was a dirty look at you?

Am also a GP and live locally so my children go to the local school with quite a few of my patients. You will often find me squinting in a bizarre way with a ' kill you dead stare' but this will be directed invariably at my 2 year old who seems to be on one child mission to wreck the school and associated outbuildings. and also because I am very short sighted and do not like my glasses
I would be mortified if any of my patients thought i was glaring at them - am making mental note to curb these looks.

As previously stated would be amazed if your GP looks at you and recalls your medical hx etc or thinks about private conversations she has had with you, simply due to sheer volume of patients that are seen

Startail Tue 05-Feb-13 22:04:42

My GP is a school Dad who does pick ups sometimes, it' doesn't bother me at all.

I guess it might if he had ever been anything other than very good at his job.

However, I'm used to small town life where you're mum child minds for your teacher and you knew their first name before you started school.

Several of our secondary teachers had DCs in the school including the deputy head. Parents often ended up teaching their own DCs.

It was a very rural area, there wasn't another school for miles.

fallon8 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:09:51

Wherever she goes,the poor Gp is going to come across patients,,we can't go anywhere,,give her a break,at the school gate she is just another mum

My OH would echo pacificdogwood's statement that:
"I cannot remember who said what to me, when, how or why - maybe I am just crap but there is not enough headspace to have it all present when I see somebody"
Occasionally we are out and about and we see someone looking at him, either trying to work out where they've seen him before / looking a bit embarrassed. He has never, ever been able to remember when or why he has seen them before - and would also obviously not say it if he did remember. He takes confidentially massively seriously - they all do.
Recently DH has made the decision to leave the army GP cadre and has got a job at our local surgery for when he is out (he's locumed there before, hence the occasional recognition). We're ecstatic at the job news but it's been a bit dismaying how many of my friends have reacted with horror at the news, not because DH is a crap doctor but because they assume we'll both know all of their secrets. Not so.

holidaysarenice Wed 06-Feb-13 02:17:28

I think you're overthinking it!

Yours is not the first 'school run vag' she has seen, nor will she particularly remember it!!!

penelopepissstop Wed 06-Feb-13 08:49:27

Haha, yes I realise how I'm coming across here - this woman hasn't seen my vag. as I always see the other doctors. It's more that I was thinking about how friendly she was previously. Perhaps she is just trying to be professional, but it feels quite pointedly otherwise.

Anyway, thanks to the GPs who responded. I feel relieved that two school mum GPs wouldn't sit and discuss me in their tea break. I'm really not that interesting....

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 09:00:11

Earlier, I had a filthy, deliberately pointed look from a school Mum which wouldn't worry me apart from the fact she's one of the GP's at my practice

You know what, she might not have even been looking at you, or if she was it could have been absent mindedly. I met some friends for coffee the other day, arrived late as couldn't get parked, then had no change, then couldn't find friends - I arrived looking a bit harassed. One of my friends took me to one side as we were about to leave and asked me what was wrong as I had given her a filthy look when I arrived, when in reality I hadn't even been THINKING about her let alone giving her a filthy look!

Cherriesarelovely Wed 06-Feb-13 09:12:20

I would move. I had a similar experience, going to the Drs, seeing a locum who turned out to be a mum at the school. She was really dismissive, misdiagnosed me as it turned out and I felt horribly uncomfortable around her at the school gates (we weren't friends before but I knew her). If she were a regular GP at thepractice I would have moved. We are all different but I don't like mixing that kind of stuff up. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

EssexGurl Wed 06-Feb-13 10:51:48

My GP when I was at secondary was the dad of one of my classmates. GP was lovely but I hated going to see him as I felt he was very much so and so's Dad. I felt uncomfortable for no reason other than that - I couldn't make the disconnect between personal and professional. So I empathise.

I do think you should change GPs if you do not feel comfortable with them - for whatever reason. You need to be totally honest with this person and if you feel uncomfortable then that won't happen and you must change. Nothing to do with confidentiality of the like - but how you feel.

FightingForSurvival Wed 06-Feb-13 11:10:12

I think she is just keeping professional distance. Probably realised you were a patient and though better not get too close then. I doubt she was giving dirty looks. I am sure people think I am giving them dirty looks, I used to be very smiley but I have just had the year from hell and generally walk round with a face like a slapped arse! I am trying to cheer up a bit not but that could lead people to think oh she used to be really friendly, then she started blanking me and now she's friendly again when in reality I walked round in a fog due to a dying family member and other issues . Don't worry, it's fine, just change docs if you are not comfortable but probably just let it go.

One of the GP's at my surgery also has a child in my dd's class.
We live in a small tight community and although we are not friends the GP mum and I chat from time to time about everything and nothing.
She is not my GP and I try and avoid making any appointments with her for any of the family as much for her sake as mine, I am sure she doesn't want to have such a personal knowledge of my family in the back if her mind as we chat about school/village things, she would never in a million years talk to anybody else about things in our notes but I must admit I have felt that feeling of discomfort at the fact she has probably seen some very personal information that I wouldn't dream of sharing with anyone who wasn't a very close personal friend however I reassure myself with the fact she is a trained profetional who probably doesn't even remember such details, I am really not that important to her!

In your case I probably would recommend changing GP's if it is hard to avoid the school Mums, we are lucky as our practice covers a large rural area as well as a town so has many GPs, I have only had to take the children to her a couple of times and once she was the GP on call when I needed an urgent phone appointment but it seems for you contact is more regular and as it makes you feel so uncomfortable I would move, it is possible that your discomfort is causing you to see things in the behaviour of these woman that might not be there or is completely unrelated to their profetional life.

ImKateandsoismywife Wed 06-Feb-13 11:27:23

I could not handle seeing my gp for something embarrassing if I had to see them at the school gates. It know its no big deal to a doctor and they see bums and fanjos all the time but it would make it all the more embarrassing for me to have to make small talk at the school gates knowing that they have seen me like that.

LadyMargolotta Wed 06-Feb-13 12:09:50

Exactly ImKateandsoismywife. The OP has every right to change GPs.

wreckedone Wed 06-Feb-13 12:15:40

If you feel uncomfortable, then see a different GP, if there's more than 1 at your surgery it's not a problem. My hubby's an a&e doc and often sees people he's treated when we're in town-occasionally people will approach him to tell him he's treated them! And he's seen at least 5 of my friend's babies/children-they tend to text me when they're heading in to see if they can be bumped up the queue!!!

penelopepissstop Wed 06-Feb-13 15:15:11

Fighting For Survival - sorry to hear about your shit year. I felt shit for a long while after a close family member died, but the misery lifted eventually. Best wishes to you.

Thing is, I'd just seen GP waving and being her usual self to another Mum seconds before. The difference in tone couldn't have been more damning and so I really have taken it as a slight because it's weird and out of character. I am wondering if it's because she told me that she'd discussed my DS's recent medical emergency with her husband who's a specialist. That's all I can think of but I didn't see that as crime of the century at the time - just that she was trying to be thorough in the circumstances. I wouldn't complain though it crossed my mind she maybe shouldn't have done that. I dunno - but I've sourced the next surgery and as soon as it's appropriate to swap, i.e. I have a good stash of my prescription and my specialist is satisfied, I shall. Thanks for your thoughts all.

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