The average appointment period with n NHS GP is only 10 minutes. Too less? This is inclusive of the time when a patient gets called in and walks into the doctor’s room. Then the actual consultation process begins. The ten minutes are also inclusive of the time spent by the GP taking down notes. The GP will also add suggestions for the tests to be undertaken by the patient.
This time limits leads people in search of best private GP in London, as private clinic spends at least 20 mins time with their patients. Probably it’s enough if you don’t have too many issues to discuss!
Imagine a doctor meeting 20 patients in a day. Even a delay of 2 minutes leaves the last appointment late by 38 minutes. Try to remember this, because you may be the last patient.
So it’s clear that time is precious and the appointment duration is too tight. To ensure a fruitful meeting with your GP, keep in mind the following things. This will enable you to get the most out of it.
Sounds ironic, eh? The doctors never keep their appointments on time, but I am expected to do so. In case the previous appointment ends on schedule, why take a chance? The doctor is not going to wait for you. You may be a minute late, but what if you do not answer the doctor’s call? The doctor will call in the next patient and you will be fuming and waiting for your turn. So, its required to be on time.
2. Never get too comfortable
Do not waste time removing your coat and scarf. If you have a baby with you, do not waste time changing the diaper, not at least in the doctor’s room. Use the valuable time to discuss your problems with the GP. The time you waste affects the appointment of the patient, the doctor sees after you. You don’t want that to happen to you, so avoid causing the same problems to other people.
3. No kids to the doctor’s appointment, please!!!
Kids tend to be a distraction when you are having a serious discussion with your doctor. You do not want to be chasing after them or let their antics distract you from your appointment. Leave them at home. So you can fully focus and engage in the consultation process.
4. Get the sequence right for your story
Keep notes on the dates when the problem started. Explain the issues in chronological order. This is for the doctor to understand the sequence of your problems. This is very helpful for the GP to suggest a suitable diagnosis.
5. Get the timelines right
Try to be specific on the timelines of your symptoms. It is helpful for the GP if you state that your problem started a month back, or a week back, or two days back. Don’t mention a timeline such as ‘a long time’, or ‘a long back’ as it may differ from person to person. Communicating accurate timelines saves time if your story is clear from the beginning.
6. You are meeting your doctor, share everything. Do not feel embarrassed.
When you meet a doctor, you become their responsibility. They have an important job; to treat your health problems and provide a cure. They will be giving you a treatment and medication plan. It is imperative that you share all relevant information with the GP. Do not hold back anything, even if the information is embarrassing. The doctor has to know.
7. Doctors follow a process of consultation
There is a pattern followed by your GP during consultation. This goes as follows:
- The patient tells the story of the problems
- Doctor asks certain questions based on the story you have narrated
- Your doctor may examine you (if required)
- Doctor will tell you what may be going on in your case and give you treatment options and plan.
- You ask questions about the treatment plan.
This process remains standard for all GP’s. This is what they learn right from medical school.
8. Share the important part first
Meeting your GP does not need a “warm-up” conversation. Do not start with some minor issues. State the most important and serious problem at the outset. Be bold in your conversation. No point talking about cold and cough when your heart problem is a bigger worry.
9. Your GP is not your Dentist!!!
I am surprised to learn that patients share their dental problems with their GP. They ask for an opinion on a subject your GP has no idea about. For dental problems, please visit your dentist. Do not seek advice for treatment to save the bill to the dentist. GPs are not at all dentists. They have not learned about dentistry in their medical college. Just as there are specialists for heart, ENT and joints, GP is also a specialized doctor for certain health problems.
10. Do not be a Google Doctor
It is common for patients to check their symptoms on Google. When they meet their GP, they ‘inform’ the doctor about their illness. The doctor is wondering why the patient has taken the appointment in the first place!!! Inform the doctor of your problems and leave it to the doctor to assess the problem. They have spent years in medical school studying it.
11. Be good to your doctor
Doctors are helpful. Despite what you may read otherwise, vast majority of doctors want to help you. It is their job and duty to ensure the best treatment for their patients. They want to sort out your health problems. Not every doctor runs the practice just for business. Smile and say thank you to the doctor when the appointment ends. They will feel good about the work!!!
Looking for the best private GP in London? Private GP London has the best doctors to serve your needs and will have a longer consultation time.