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to be bewildered at GP's attitude to me?

(50 Posts)
oprahfan Thu 13-Jan-11 14:00:32

Would like some honest feedback from you all, as I had an upsetting experience at the doctor's this morning.
I've been seeing a female GP once a month over the past 4 months, seeking meds for depression, which I've been on before, and are helpful. She has wanted to see me on each occasion, including filling in questionnaires each session about how i feel.
She hardly gives any eye contact and taps away into her computer the whole time, talking to me looking at the computer screen. She asked me what I was here for today, what meds and dose I was taking as she 'didn't look at notes' (they were there on the screen in front of her!)
I duly filled in the questionnaire, and she said, 'haven't looked at your scores or results', but there seems to be an improvement in you!!!!!!!!!!!!
She printed off prescription, and I asked, ' i find this very dificult to ask, but I've been having a few symptoms with my left breast for over a year now. Could you perhaps do an examination? I've been getting bruising,pain, I feel a lump on the right hand side of the breast, and I'm sore under my arm'.
She said, 'No, I'm running late today. You're going to have to make an appointment for another time. It takes 10 minutes, and I've got other people to see'.
AIBU to feel really shocked here? It has taken me a lot of courage to ask her, my partner has felt my breast and has been on at me to speak with a doctor for months now. It takes a lot of bottle to get my jugs out for him, never mind a GP!!!!!!!!!!
I hardly ever go to the GP's, never with a list of this or that, and believe in helping yourself as much as poss. I was so shocked I burst into tears!!!!!

Serendippy Thu 13-Jan-11 14:02:53

YANBU to be upset, it sounds like she was very short with you. SheWNBU to ask you to make another appointment as there were other people waiting.
Try to put it behind you and make another appointment as it sounds like you have put it off too long already. Can you request another GP for your next visit?
Hope you are feeling better.

doggytreats Thu 13-Jan-11 14:04:30

I'm horrified! Write a stiff letter to the Practice Manager and perhaps ask to see another GP?

Please go back and see someone though.

lemonbeaver Thu 13-Jan-11 14:05:32

Can you make an appointment to see another doctor asap at the same sugery?

That is awful, hope you are feeling better soon and the lump issue is nothing to worry about but please get checked out for your own piece of mind.

sending big hugs [[[hugs]]]]

Acinonyx Thu 13-Jan-11 14:06:35

Very poor judgement on the part of the GP - make another appt and change GP. I am terrible for procrastinating with these kinds of appts too.

ConnorTraceptive Thu 13-Jan-11 14:06:57

With regards to the breast exam no I'm afraid she wasn't being unreasonable as a thorough exam does take time and shouldn't be rushed. A slot with a gp is usually only ten minutes long so it would put her back if she over run.

I know it takes a lot of courage to ask these things but be brave and make another appointment

Shellbell72 Thu 13-Jan-11 14:08:11

I am really shocked, I would certainly change G.P's and make a fuss about this- you have been treated terribly angry

dessen Thu 13-Jan-11 14:08:14

Totally wrong of your gp - you took a health complaint to her & she did nothing. Shocking & disgraceful. Demand to have a check as it's very important. Well done for speaking to your gp - keep up the fight to have this checked.

soggy14 Thu 13-Jan-11 14:09:35

YANBU she is horrible

MsKLo Thu 13-Jan-11 14:10:13

The problem is they have a set amount of time for a problem and she had other patients? Can you not see another GP?

Tbh, if this is something that has been bothering you fir a while you should have made an appointment for it ages ago? Good luck - get an appointment made asap - with another GP

alegre Thu 13-Jan-11 14:12:47

Gosh, I'm cross for you! You are not being unreasonable about feeling shocked.

Can't believe that GP is so unsympathetic especially considering your depressive history. Yes, you need monitoring but not in the way she does. I've been on anti-depressants in the past and the way you're monitored sounds awful.

Is there another GP in the surgery? In the past I've mentioned that I'd prefer to see another doctor and that has been accommodated without any questions.

I would ring the surgery straight away and say you're worried about a lump in your breast. Maybe the receptionist can give you an emergency appointment with another doctor or perhaps the nurse? This is a genuine cause for concern and also, given that you're on anti-depressants and anxious, they should arrange something ASAP. If your surgery is anything like my surgery, you could wait another week for an appointment and you musn't wait any longer.

Good luck x

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Jan-11 14:12:59

What Connor said.

oprahfan Thu 13-Jan-11 14:19:09

Cheers for all your replies so far.. ....I had only been in the room for less than 2 minutes, and it is common courtesy is it not to take time to look at someone when talking to them?

Yes, I know I should have gone to the docs long ago, but you don't want to look stupid, you hope the symptoms go away, and you feel bloody sick about asking and then having to get yr jugs out for a stranger!

I realise you get a very short amount of time, I don't hang about, I care for my health and well-being and am straight to the point. I went in with a genuine concern, didn't realise you can't go into a gp with only one concern at a time!!!!!!!

Still shaking you know.............

AntonDuBurk Thu 13-Jan-11 14:24:52

YANBU with regards to eye contact etc. As you say, it's basic politeness to look at people when you are talking to them and she does sound less than empathetic.

I'm a bit torn about the exam. Broadly I agree with Connor. It's very common practice for GPs to have (and publicise) a one condition per visit policy. They have short appt slots and with something as serious as a breast exam the last thing you (or they) want is to feel rushed and for something to be overlooked.

I do think if you were visibly as upset as you say you were, she might have made an exception and let your appt overrun if necessary. Certainly I'd hope that she would have pushed harder to make sure you were going to come back promptly.

TBH the most important thing for you to focus on is to get that next appt made. Can you see another GP in the practice perhaps.

Good luck smile

oprahfan Thu 13-Jan-11 14:33:51

Hey Anton (!)
Seriously, didn't know you could only speak about one concern at a time? Seriously? It's not public then, and I thought I was well-informed?!!!!!!!
oh god, well..she looked kind of shocked, and said she was sorry, that she would do an examination, but I certainly felt her care level was below par, for sure.
I have called the surgery, they are a very good med centre, services are super etc. I have just spoken with the practice manager, and I will go to speak to her this afternoon. I have also made an appt for next tue afternoon.

I have no wish to complain about doctors or medical staff at all, I've never had issues before, and it is right not to have a rushed exam. But level of care in this I feel should be questioned. However, thanks so much for all of you that have replied, bless you! x

MajesticScallop Thu 13-Jan-11 14:34:58

Had she had a kinder attitude, it might even have occurred to her that your depression over the last four months had been triggered by deep-seated worry about a possible breast problem, and that maybe the two sets of symptoms can't be seen in isolation.

Just a thought. I'm not a medic, mind you.

At my GP's they always finish off by saying, "Is there anything else I can help you with".......!!!

Go back, see someone different, and please take good care of yourself.

AntonDuBurk Thu 13-Jan-11 14:45:49

Hi Oprah! smile

So glad you have made the appt. Well done.

Hope your talk goes well this afternoon too. I agree that this Drs attitude wasn't good at all. Just wanted you to focus on your health etc first.

PS "one issue" has been publicised (by posters etc) at both of my recent practices. But it's very much at the discretion of the GP and common sense of patients as to how it's implemented. Eg if you go in and get a repeat prescription and also ask re something else then that's fine. Or equally if you are seen re something and then have a quick query on something else then that's fine too. But if eg you are examined ref one thing and then 9 minutes in say "oh and X..." then you would probably be asked to come back. As I say, in your case I do think she might have made an exception or at least explained herself better.

zam72 Thu 13-Jan-11 14:46:59

YANBU....it is a little annoying for appts to run over for other patients. But I prefer that than everyone only ever having their allotted slot with no exceptions.

I think the 'is there anything else I can help you with' is the doorknob questions phenomenon?? I'm sure I heard that there was a high proportion of patients that leave the thing that was really bothering them til they are about to leave (with hand on doorknob) - Dr's must be used to it really. It should've been obvious to your Dr that this was something that was bothering you significantly and had taken courage to mention just from its 'doorknobbyness'.

I agree a breast exam should'nt be rushed though, but perhaps she could've tried to book you an appt there and then (you can at my Dr's, usually the receptionist do that but I've had my Dr do it when she wanted to make sure I did book an appt).

BreconBeBuggered Thu 13-Jan-11 14:47:22

When I went to see my GP about a breast lump, he wanted to extend the appointment to discuss possible depression as I 'seemed a bit down'...wonder why that might have been? I appreciated the concern at least. My surgery specifies only one immediate problem per appointment at busy times, but that's not the usual routine.
Glad you've got another appointment now, and hope everything will be okay xx

headfairy Thu 13-Jan-11 14:51:52

Sorry you had a bad experience with your gp, we do have posters in our waiting room saying one problem one appt too... I wouldn't have known about it either unless I'd been sitting in there for 45 mins last time I went because they were running over hmm

HelenBa Thu 13-Jan-11 15:00:17

the 'one issue' thing seems really counterproductive to me, I'm not a doctor but i think it's fairly common knowledge that people often go in about one thing and then it's when they doc asks "is there anything else?" that they say what's really bothering them. (I'm not suggesting that is the case for the OP, it was just a general observation, particualrly regarding some men who find it hard to alk about health issues).

Well-done OP for getting right back in there and making another appointment

humanheart Thu 13-Jan-11 15:01:47

poor you oprahfan - YA*N*BU hug

I have found GPs to be desperately unkind sometimes when I have been a patient with depression - I have had to brace myself to see them and if my vital signs were being monitored in the waiting room they would be sky high. I have been in bits afterwards too. It is very rude indeed to not look at you during a consultation and unnecessarily brusque to tell you to make another appt about something so obviously important. I know they have an allotted time and you're only supposed to see them about one thing, but they can unbelievably up themselves sometimes angry.

NOT my favourite people, GPs - but that said, get a good one and they're GOLD.

I hope you have had some success with the practise manager today. don't take personally the shocking way this GP has treated you - she was well out of line imo.

HelenLG Thu 13-Jan-11 15:07:55

Don't think YABU. I always ask my GP about more than one thing when I go and see them, generally because on an individual basis I don't think they are worth it. Just yesterday I asked the doctor about DS's head shape, rash on his face, and his cough, all of which ook less than the 10 minute slot which we were booked in for.

I've also had a breast exam done by my GP and it didn't take long at all.

That said, the surgery does have notices up about booking longer appointments if you have more than one issue, but the problem is you have to wait over a week for 1 ten minute appointment, so can only imagine how long you would have to wait to get 2 appointments together.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Thu 13-Jan-11 15:13:08

If you have had it for a year I don't see why she was out of order to ask you to make another appointment, tbh.

Phoenix5 Thu 13-Jan-11 15:41:02

As a medic I agree with your gp that you should've had to make another appointment. For more than one condition you need to book a double appointment as they don't have time to do both in 10 mins. The fact that you've had the problem for a while indicates its likely to not be serious as you would be symptomatic by now, and a proper breast examination takes at least 5 mins, then there is discussion as to what to do etc. You may have been in there longer than you thought too.

Sounds like she isn't very sympathetic to depression though. There is no need to do those questionnaires every visit, what she should be doing is talking to you. Sadly some doctors see a patient with psych issues and don't give their physical problems much thought. Hope it sorts out soon.

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