Life Wellbeing The six things you do that drive doctors up the wall
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The six things you do that drive doctors up the wall

Dr Ahmed Kazmi tells us where we're going wrong when we visit the GP. Photo: Tina Shawal
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The practice of medicine is not always a smooth road. It is an occupation full of joy, tragedy and, perhaps surprisingly, humour.

As a practising GP I feel qualified to make this statement.

Although my aim is always to facilitate good health for my patients, small obstacles regularly occur to impede this goal.

Here are some innocent, everyday occurrences you may not know are irksome or funny to your GP (depending on the type of day the doctor is having).

Keep them in mind next time you visit the GP to avoid unnecessary stress.

  1. If you are seeing the doctor about urinary symptoms, do not go for a wee JUST before seeing them! They are almost 100 per cent going to need a sample. It’s like going to child’s prize-giving ceremony without your child.
  2. Photo: Tina Shawal
    “If I had a dollar for every time someone wanted a repeat medication but didn’t know the name of their medication, I would not be driving a 1997 Toyota Corolla.” Photo: Tina Shawal

    Dress in a way that you think will facilitate being examined. A thick dress, which buttons at the back and cannot have the sleeves rolled up is not a good choice for a blood pressure check. Skinny jeans are no good if you need your knee examined. And Ugg boots should never be worn. Ever.

  3. Whilst is it lovely to warn and calm children before vaccinations, asking your two-year-old for their permission to be vaccinated against life-threatening childhood diseases is probably not within their decision-making capabilities. So how about you give him a tight cuddle, I distract him with a sticker and the nurse gives the jab.
  4. Dr Google. Definitely take an interest in your health, definitely read about things, but please only use professionally vetted websites NOT patient forums or lifestyle magazines. That’s like using a tabloid newspaper to revise for an economics exam.
  5. Patients often have something they wish to discuss, but are shy. So, they will ‘test’ the doctor out by discussing one or two (…or three…or four) non-pressing issues before they feel safe to disclose what they really want to talk about. By this time, the allocated consultation time is usually over and either the patient misses out or the doctor runs late. I promise whatever the issue, be it depression, erectile dysfunction, or drug addiction, your doctor will have seen it before and will handle it with the respect you deserve. So please, serious stuff first.
  6. If I had a dollar for every time someone wanted a repeat medication but didn’t know the name of their medication, I would not be driving a 1997 Toyota Corolla. Describing your medication as “white and round and with a line down the middle” doesn’t help me either. Commit your medication to memory, take the box with you or keep a photo in your phone. A new clinic will usually not have access to your old records and it takes a lot time calling pharmacies and other clinics to confirm drugs.

For more medical anecdotes come see my stand-up comedy show Doctor in the House, part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, at the Butterfly Club, April 10-16 at 8.30pm. Tickets here

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