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to expect if not sympathy at least an acknowledgment

(85 Posts)
macdoodle Sat 06-Dec-14 17:04:03

Ok am genuinely after opinions here.
I am a GP, I have been in my practice for over 12years, so I know my regulars well, and most of the other patients. I am well liked.
On Thur I started with a horrid cold, sore throat. By Friday my voice was almost gone completely and I sounds horrible. I soldiered on as fully booked surgeries and down a doctor (unable to recruit) means we are overwhelmed. Luckily I only work half day on Friday.
I saw 16 patients in the morning, made 8 call backs (for results/advice) and did 2 house visits. I reckon less than 25% even commented that I was clearly unwell, and of those most were of the jokey type " you need to see a doctor haha". Would you comment? Express concern?? Some of the patients were chronic diseases, ongoing problems, so not acutely unwell. And those that were unwell, were less so than me. Those that commented with genuine sympathy, were those I know well, or parents who had brought children.
I feel disappointed TBH. I work hard, even when unwell, and would have expected a bit of sympathy TBH. AIBU? Does the doctor not need some sympathy as well sad
COI am feeling very sorry for myself, illness and working single parent do not go well together!

LegoAdventCalendar Sat 06-Dec-14 17:08:28

I would have commented because I think the best place for an ill doctor is at home resting. I've lost my voice before but felt alright, it was the tail end of a bad virus. But if I were seeing a doctor in such a state I'd have asked if it were better to reschedule so they could take themselves home and ask if they had lemons and honey at home - squeeze a wedge of lemon in a cup, top with water just off the boil and stir in a teaspoon of honey. Great for the throat.

coppertop Sat 06-Dec-14 17:09:26

I would have sympathy but possibly wouldn't comment. I'd be thinking that you'd probably be feeling fed up with explaining to everyone that you were ill and had lost your voice.

I hope you feel better soon.

LegoAdventCalendar Sat 06-Dec-14 17:09:27

Hope you feel better after the weekend.

AnnOnymity Sat 06-Dec-14 17:13:40

I wouldn't have commented even though I would have felt sympathetic. I'd assume you'd want to get the call/visit/appointment over and done with as quickly as possible and not waste time on chit-chat/pleasantries.

WhyYouGottaBeSoRude Sat 06-Dec-14 17:14:15

I think i'd have preferred you not to see me if you were that unwell you felt it worthy of sympathy tbh. You shouldnt have been seeing sick people. (Common sense?)

Assuming sympathy from patients (clients) is UR. They arent your friends or family and are probably a bit more wrapped up in their own ailments.

squiggler Sat 06-Dec-14 17:17:46

Hope you feel better soon. I wouldn't have commented for the same reasons as coppertop though. That and if you were ill I would have thought that you wanted to get your appointments over with as soon as possible without spending time explaining that you were ill.
From your point of view I can see how you would feel disappointed, but I genuinely think that a lot of people would have just had silent sympathy and not wanted to voice it.

Tobyjugg Sat 06-Dec-14 17:17:58

I think one of the issues is that many of those coming to see you are probably more worried about their own health than yours. Plus nobody expects a doctor to be ill. I remember having an hospital appt. cancelled because the consultant was sick. I was quite shocked.

DurhamDurham Sat 06-Dec-14 17:20:19

I'd be a bit shocked at being seen by a GP who was clearly unwell. You could be passing on your illness to patients who might have a compromised immune system.
I've had some great. GP's, they have listened to me and treated me.....however I've never expected sympathy from them. I don't think I would feel overly sympathetic to anyone who could be passing on their illness to me or my sick child.

Stay at home and get the required sympathy from your family.

NorwaySpruce Sat 06-Dec-14 17:21:01

No, I wouldn't even comment on someone's illness in a situation like that.

If I go to work when ill, I find it infuriating when people comment on it. It's not like I'm there for fun, or don't know myself that I'm ill.

People's comments tend to be of the 'oh you look ill' (well no shit Sherlock) or 'you should be home in bed' - (clearly I would be, if I felt the need/ had the option) kind.

I tend to assume other people find personal comments/faux sympathy just as irritating as I do.

Ragglefrock Sat 06-Dec-14 17:24:18

They are your patients not your friends/family.

Ragwort Sat 06-Dec-14 17:29:32

I think I would comment, discretely, but so many people are totally wrapped up in themselves that they probably don't even take the trouble to acknowledge you at all. I went to a fantastic out of hours GP service this week and I did comment on it and got into quite a nice conversation with the Doctor blush.

But I know so many people who never, ever comment on anyone or anything beyond their own narrow world - at work we have so many people who talk non stop about themselves - the funny thing is they all complain about each other but are equally as bad as each other. grin.

And I fully understand why you would feel you have to go to work even when you feel totally rough - imagine how hacked off these same people would be if they were told their appointment was cancelled because the GP was sick hmm.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

BlueGreenHazelGreen Sat 06-Dec-14 17:31:10

I would never comment on a professional person's state of health whether doctor, lawyer, teacher or whatever. I'd be internally sympathetic of course but assume that they had evaluated their own fitness for work and therefore any comment from me would be superfluous.

I've soldiered on while I'll, it wouldn't occur to me to expect sympathy from anyone but my family.

I hope you feel better soon though.

YesIDidMeanToBeSoRudeActually Sat 06-Dec-14 17:32:39

Wouldn't your patients be worried that, by treating them when you are ill yourself, you could endanger their health? I know I wouldn't be happy (auto immune condition) if my GP saw me when so obviously ill.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 06-Dec-14 17:33:09

I wouldn't have commented.
TBH when I see my GP it is because I am worried about my health enough to go in to see them, I am worried, scared and anxious. As ego centric as it sounds I would be there for your help and reassurance, and it wouldn't occur to me to offer it to you.

It would not feel comfortable for me to comment to be honest, I would assume you were aware you were ill, and if you were not well enough to work you would not be there.

I hope you feel better soon.

StillSquirrelling Sat 06-Dec-14 17:36:39

As a patient with a compromised immune system (due to immunosuppressants) I'd be rather aggrieved to be seen by a doctor who was ill. Even a simple cold can turn into something much more serious. If you have flu then that's even worse.

I also find it highly unprofessional for a doctor to say "those that were unwell, were less so than me". Of those with chronic diseases - how do you know how they were feeling? Have you ever suffered the fatigue from a chronic condition? The kind that leaves you feeling like you haven't slept for a week? Or the stabbing pain of inflammatory arthritis? Or the labour-like stomach pains of Crohn's or ulcerative colitis? These people live with pain every single day and would not thank you for saying such derogatory things about them. It's bad enough having an invisible illness that Joe Public doesn't understand (or believe, in some instances). We at least hope that the healthcare professionals we use are understanding and sympathetic. I am so glad you're not MY doctor.

If you're that unwell then you shouldn't be seeing patients. YABVU in my opinion.

RollickingBoysOfTandragee Sat 06-Dec-14 17:37:44

I would feel sympathy, and would appreciate you soldiering on and not cancelling my appointment, but I wouldn't say anything in case I embarrassed you. It just wouldn't seem right in the context, too personal somehow. I hope you feel better soon flowers

soaccidentprone Sat 06-Dec-14 17:37:50

I know most if the gp's at my surgery.

I have been a registered patient there around 15 years.

I would definitely have asked how you are etc, unless I felt at deaths door (ie kidney infection or something).

Hope you are well again soon.

Islander79 Sat 06-Dec-14 17:37:54

I wouldn't have commented, though I would have felt sympathetic. My lovely GP had some condition or other where he lost all his hair in patches over a period of time, then it all grew back. I never said a word - I imagine a day full of people commenting would have driven him mad!

MagicMojito Sat 06-Dec-14 17:39:53

brew flowers for you.

Being ill sucks whoever you are.

ToAvoidConversation Sat 06-Dec-14 17:42:00

I think people are being very harsh towards you. You clearly worked hard. I'm not sure I would ask a doctor if they were ill though. They always seem to be quite traditionally 'above' me (and I'm in a profession too). Like I never want to enquire to their personal lives as they are obviously very busy people with important jobs!

Hatespiders Sat 06-Dec-14 17:43:57

I'm sorry you've been ill and hope you'll soon be better. But I would have flatly refused to stay in your consulting room with you. I wouldn't have wanted a filthy cold, and think you should have stayed at home. I wonder how many of those patients have now contracted it?

ilovesooty Sat 06-Dec-14 17:45:14

I've been a patient at my surgery for many years and if I saw the doctor I know best and he didn't seem well I'd certainly mention it and wish him a speedy recovery.

ginslinger Sat 06-Dec-14 17:49:06

I'd mention it. I wonder what your patients would have said if you'd cancelled appointments because of a cold grin

TheGirlWhoPlayedWithFire Sat 06-Dec-14 17:53:06

I completely agree with StillSquirrelling

I'm sorry you are unwell but it's a cold. Having had a bad cold recently myself I still saw clients ( not in a medical capacity though). I didn't want or expect sympathy I was still there to do a job.

A cold is nothing compared to a chronic condition and I'm concerned that a GP wouldn't understand that.

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