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so i went to the dr's today - and he set a stopwatch!

(25 Posts)
solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 16:54:26

i went to the dr's today, not one i'd seen before but seemed pleasant enough. he seemed to glance at his watch and press something at the start of my consultation only for it to bleep towards the end!

Bloody hell, i work in healthcare so know time is precious but would not set a stop clock on a patient shock

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 16:57:44

I'm quite heartened to hear that TBH - yes, rather off-putting for you but at least he's making an effort not to over-run on appt times. I can't count the number of times I've been left waiting for a doc who is running behind by 3 or more patients!

Mcdreamy Mon 02-Nov-09 17:00:28

Could he be a trainee GP? I know they have to video consultations and timing is very strict. If it goes over theu can't use it but he would have to have your permission first so I guess you would have known that.

Maybe his weakness is clinics running late? He's had a complaint about it? Or maybe he just wants an idea of when 10 mins is up? Did he chuck you out at the end of the 10mins?

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 17:02:58

Really?? Would you be ok with it? Just thinking how i behave towards my patients (sometimes i am literally running around trying to get everything done) and to say to some elderly lady 'Sorry love, you've had your 5 mins, time to move on' would be pretty unpleasant for her.

Or maybe I just looked like the type that might waffle blush

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 17:04:36

We were nearly done but it made me acutely aware that it was time to leave so i probably would have anyway. i think he probably could have been a bit more subtle.

bruxeur Mon 02-Nov-09 17:10:20


displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 17:14:19

I would have been fine with it, although maybe the beeping when time was up was a bit unnecessary. Suspect Mcdreamy has it right in saying that the gp has been picked up on timekeeping so is making a clear effort not to overrun. In which case I think I would applaud him for making the effort to stay within the appt time.

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 17:15:14

perhaps by not having it friggin beeping mid conversation?

I went for appointment as pg after 16 months of trying and wanted to discuss a few problems i had been having. I don't think it is outrageous to not want an alarm going off whilst i am doing it. But hey, if everyone else is ok with it, maybe i should test drive it at work, it would certainly make my life a lot easier.

TheBalladofGayTony Mon 02-Nov-09 17:18:09

i you need a longer appointment you book 2 appointments. it is not their fault they have to keep it short

bruxeur Mon 02-Nov-09 17:18:17

Silent alarms - the new chocolate teapots?

That's the problem, everyone wants as long as they need, but god forbid someone else overruns and you're called in after your appointment slot.

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 17:22:03

Actually I always have to wait at my GP and never make a fuss. Sometimes i am in and out in 5 minutes. I am certainly not saying i should be able to swan in and sit this for half and hour gabbing on about myself. It was just a sensitive subject and i could have done without it.

Wouldn't have posted this if i'd known i was going to get such hostile replies.

bruxeur Mon 02-Nov-09 17:23:28

Hostile? Lol.

Try "not agreeing with you".

PacificGuywood Mon 02-Nov-09 17:24:09

It is a real problems though, isn't it? "I don't come very often, doc, so I brought a list" just does not help. I agree if a more complex problem than expected comes up I will do my best to deal with it, and yes, the next person will have to wait. Thank goodness for simple things that are dealt with very quickly to make up for time.
I think having a stopwatch/alarm is a bit hmm, but I know that I am acutely aware of time passing and have been known to say:"We have to leave it at that, please make another/double appointment."
And so true: it is often those who complain the loudest about having to wait, who then present with 5 complaints, spend half an hour and do not see the problem in that hmm.
My own father said once when I asked him how long he expected his dr to spend with him: 1 hour shock! He did see the problem when I pointed out that would be 10 people/day with no comfort stops!

Disenchanted3 Mon 02-Nov-09 17:24:36

Well - it depends on what the appointment is for.
Want your 6 monthly pill script and BP done, yeah fine.

Want to finally discuss your long standing depression / eating disorder / anxiety.

Not so good.

I think its just RUDE to have that beeping.

Whats wrong with just noting the time and try to conversationally close the appointment come the end of 5 minutes?

bigstripeytiger Mon 02-Nov-09 17:25:19

It sounds like quite a good idea to me. I expect that if you had needed more time then you could have had it, but the GP is reminding himself of the time so that he doesnt over-run by extending things himself.
I agree about booking double appointments. Also at my GPs the registrars seem to have longer appointments than the GPs.

FreeTheGuidoOne Mon 02-Nov-09 17:26:09

Come and see my GP. I went to see him, was quick and to the point, he ordered blood tests, filled forms, clicked his keyboard, swung round and said "so, what do you do then?" Had a lovely little chat about librarianship and he asked me what I saw myself doing in 5yrs. To be completely honest I did wonder if I'd accidentally wandered into the wrong room and was speed dating. He's very nice and pops into the waiting room to announce if he's running late to the gathered admirers patients. I think a stopwatch would aid him tremendously.

sarah293 Mon 02-Nov-09 17:27:17

Message withdrawn

Disenchanted3 Mon 02-Nov-09 17:28:37

Its hard enough booking ONE appointment though, never mind finding a double window of oppotunity!

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 17:30:13

disenchanted3 i agree, its generally known as good communication skills - moving on without seeming rude. I know appointment times are short and didn't present with a list of complaints or go over my 'allotted' time but it just seemed the wrong way to do things.

EccentricaGallumBANG Mon 02-Nov-09 17:32:39

at my last Gp appointment which did not go well, and I was ushered out of the door after about 3 minutes, with the Dr pointing out she had other people to see, despite the fact that I hadn't actually told her why I was there yet; had she set a wach and bleepedat me, I may have battered her with her bloody sphyg.
Has to be said I have yet to meet a GP who wasn't an utter waste of space.

I'm with you. I'd have been very cross.

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 17:35:30

I agree that there are some things when the appointment time isn't long enough but plenty that can be easily dealt with in the time and the problem is then that a lot of patients collect 3 months' worth of problems and then present a list of them all in one go! Our surgery won't allow double appointments but if they need longer appointments for procedures that take a bit longer they do them on a particular day during the afternoon. I try and avoid the gps who overrun as it's a pain waiting so long esp when you have small children with you but it's clearly a problem everywhere and if the gp is short and to the point that doesn't suit some patients who like a more gentle manner but for those who like to be dealt with fairly quickly, there's nothing worse than a chatty gp who asks about your holiday plans when you just want to get the screaming kids out of there!

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 17:40:27

bruxeur are you a doctor?? You're not the one I saw are you??

RTKangaMummy Mon 02-Nov-09 17:41:53

our old GP who has now retired used to spend ages chatting and was very friendly

His replacement is lovely too

The whole surgery has made a new rule that only 1 item to be discussed at an appointment UNLESS they are related

ie if preggers can talk about high BP and birth plan but not about an ingrowing toe nail iyswim

solongpumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 18:31:28

bruxeur - Dr or ENP?

>>>starts placing bets in hope of xmas windfall<<<<<

crankytwanky Mon 02-Nov-09 18:39:19

I'd be anoyed too. It does seem quite rude. The "6 minute" rule is ridiculous IMO.
You can always 'phone the practice or write to the GP and tell them that this is a bit much.

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