I have a GP that I trust. She makes good calls. And she knows me well – knows I hate taking medication, so tells me why I should. And she seems to know the best specialists.
Several times my GP has been unavailable and I’ve stressed about finding another. I have gone to medical centres when things are not really bad but I need to be checked out quickly, throat infection and the like. (My GP can be hard to get in to see – the downside of being popular – and she takes her time with patients so is often running two hours late.) But I don’t want to see medical centre doctors for real needs and they rarely look at you as a while person, listening to the one thing you say is wrong and quickly getting you out the door. Given that many of them are overseas trained doctors, I don’t trust they know the right/best specialists.
One time I tried a doctor recommended by a friend. I had a bad throat infection. I just wanted to be checked out before I left for the snow. To be trapped on the mountain with a secondary infection wouldn’t be fun. But I was in there for ages. I know I should appreciate the thoroughness (especially as this was the opposite of my medical centre whinge and she was trying to get to know me) but being quizzed about my uterus and periods when I wanted my throat looked at and getting a referral for an internal ultrasound and more blood tests was not what I wanted. (I didn’t go for the ultrasound or the blood tests and went back to my GP who didn’t think they were necessary.)
So 24 hours in from my knee injury and I still can’t walk. I try to make an appointment with my GP. I haven’t seen her since last year. The number is disconnected. Bugger! She must have retired!!!
What to do?
I contact some friends for recommendations. Of course, good GPs probably aren’t taking new patients.
I am about to phone one when it hits me. I’m in another state. I need to put the area code in front of the number.
Success! Well, of a kind. My doctor is on leave. But I will see her colleague. I don’t know her but at least I’m not starting afresh.
Do you have a general practitioner you have been seeing for a long time? Do you stress about changing doctors?