I had a GP appointment this morning. This is how it went (as word for word accurate as I can remember):
Dr: Hello, what can I do for you?
Me: Hi, I’ve come in for my medication review for my migraines. Additionally, I’ve been having more migraines than normal recently, although that could be due to stress from exams recently.
Dr: Is that Propranolol you take? (Propranolol is a beta-blocker commonly used to lower blood pressure, but also used to prevent migraines)
Dr: Do you take paracetamol too?
Me: Yes, but it doesn’t have much effect on my migraines.
Dr: Try taking paracetamol when you have a migraine. *Hands me my repeat prescription for my medications*. Anything else?
Me: Oh, so you think I should carry on with the Propranolol?
Dr: You don’t get any dizziness do you? (medication for lowering blood pressure can sometimes be too effective and lead to low blood pressure, which can give dizziness)
Me: No, I’m a Pharmacist though so I know what to look out for. (I slipped in the Pharmacist card (which I wouldn’t normally do) in the hope that it might prompt him to engage with me slightly)
Dr: Ugh, Pharmacist’s were the bane of my life in hospital with their green pen. I don’t know what their obsession with green pen is. *Doctor leads me to the door and ushers me out*
Me: Ok, goodbye…
I didn’t expect much from the consultation, but I was hoping to get a doctor’s opinion on whether I should try a different medication for the migraines, and to at least actually listen to what I was saying. I would also expect a doctor to find out how frequently I was getting migraines and perhaps offer some lifestyle advice or recommend a different pain killer, or prescribe sumatriptan (a common drug to take when a migraine occurs). He asked me about dizziness, but he didn’t bother to actually check my blood pressure, despite the fact that the blood pressure machine was sat on the desk less than 10cm away from me. Incidentally, I’ve not actually had my blood pressure checked by my GP once since I started on the Propranolol.
To then add insult to injury, on my way out I noticed a plaque hanging in the reception saying “...(name of the GP surgery).. Health Centre is a certified training centre for ..(my)… Medical School”. So not only is this doctor providing me with poor patient care, but one day in the future, he could also be my mentor.
Needless to say, I won’t be following his example for my OSCEs on Monday. There definitely wasn’t any empathy or ICE in his consultation!