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This is a question Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hospitals

Tingtwatter asks: Ever been on the receiving end of some quality health care? Tell us about it

(, Thu 11 Mar 2010, 11:49)
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Firstly, being a GP is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Unlike hospital medicine, where we can call in a more senior doc, order a scan or just keep you in for observations if things look a bit dodgy, they have to make The Hardest Decision about whether to manage by themselves or refer onto a specialist based on just their history taking and examination skills. So cut them some slack, please - almost all of the GPs out there do a fantastic job for their patients.

That said, I can now discuss some of the quite extreme quackery I have been fortunate enough to witness as a medical student.

* The GP who diagnosed everything as 'viral'. This included:
- Lymphoma
- Anorexia nervosa
- A stroke (posterior territory)
- Chronic urinary retention (the poor chap had a bladder swollen to nearly three litres - normal is 500ml!)

* The locum GP who spoke nearly no English. To a patient suffering from a mental health issue "You have mad health, isn't it?"

And now some general medical advice.

1. Do you have random back/limb pain? Take painkillers. And don't just take 500mg of paracetomol then worry that it's unnatural - you won't achieve effective concentrations in your blood and it won't work. Treatment dose paracetamol 1gram every 4-6 hours as required to a maximum of 4 grams in a day. If you are still in pain then you can see the doctor.

2. By the same token, don't suffer in silence. Chest pain is *always* serious, especially when it is crushing, accompanied by nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath and radiates to your jaw and left arm.

3. Also don't mess around with children's health. Bring them in if your child doesn't look right (as a parent you are a far better judge of this than a tired junior doctor who has never met your child before)

4. Stop smoking for fuck's sake.

5. While the NHS is not doing amazingly from a financial point of view, you will be surprised to know this does not inform the average doctor's management of you very much. If your doctor wouldn't give you a scan, that's because you didn't need the equivalent of 20 years of background radiation being pumped directly into your brain.
(, Sun 14 Mar 2010, 21:41, 6 replies)
Sounds like good advice to me
But could you recommend a chemist that will give me a few grams of morphine over the counter for limb/back pain before I see a doctor?
(, Sun 14 Mar 2010, 22:25, closed)

Oops. That should most definitely say paracetomol. Treatment dose 1g 4-6hourly as required up to 4g in one day.
(, Sun 14 Mar 2010, 23:41, closed)

point 4 in your advice - surely you would allow smoking outside hospital wards? That must make a hospital Doc's day every time they walk past.
(, Sun 14 Mar 2010, 23:38, closed)
And besides which it makes me look cool

(, Mon 15 Mar 2010, 8:21, closed)
Point 3...
Agree wholeheartedly. We, as worried parents, have frequently taken our boy to A&E for something as trivial as "he won't stop crying". Despite wasting the time and trying the patience of the doctors we were always told that they would rather see 100 healthy babies than miss the one that was really ill.
(, Mon 15 Mar 2010, 11:16, closed)
(, Mon 15 Mar 2010, 16:42, closed)
I heard much the same when I called the police and it turned out to be a false alarm.
(I thought my Down's brother, who needs 24-hour care and can't be out unsupervised, had gone missing. Turns out he was staying in respite care that night and my parents hadn't told me before going out. D'oh.) The copper said I'd acted responsibly and that they'd rather deal with false alarms than miss a genuine case.
(, Mon 15 Mar 2010, 18:37, closed)

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