My most infuriating encounter with GP EVER!!!

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My most infuriating encounter with GP EVER!!!

Postby Cadence » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:45 pm

Now, I know there are some peanuts out there working in the medical profession, and I am usually prepared when visiting members of the medical fraternity to be irritated, albeit minimally.

But today, I was astounded. I walked out of the GPs clinic in a daze at what had happened... please let me share this ripper of a story with you all.

So, all I needed today was a referral for my endo (a lovely doctor with whom I coordinate all my D-requirements). Having read the recent posts about indefinite referrals, I went in armed with this knowledge to my appointment with a new GP in this large clinic I normally go to. First off, he claimed to have never heard of an "indefinite referral" before in his life. Fine, whatever, I didn't have time to argue (having already waited 40 min in the waiting room - how hard is it to take appointments and keep them?!? but that's another story isn't it!).

He then asks what I need to see an endocrinologist for, and I say "for type 1 diabetes".

Now, this gets him all excited, and he starts going on about "when was your last podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dietician, renal and cardiovascular specialist, psychologists appointment?" (literally, he asked about each one of these). When I explained that all these things were arranged, when needed, through my endo, he decided to actually open up my case notes, and was very surprised to see that I had indeed had a blood test or forty in the past 8 years. Looking more closely, he saw that my last HBA1C was 6.1%. Well, this blew him away!

"Your specialist is controlling your diabetes very well!" he commended.

I was about to rebut with "well, to be honest, I'M controlling my diabetes very well", but he distracted me from my curt response with:

"Now, about your obesity", as he ushered me to the scales and measuring tape, which indicated that with a body weight of 73kg and height of 180cm, my BMI is 22.5..... not actually "obese", which he had to CONFIRM BY LOOKING BMI GUIDELINES UP ONLINE.

He was getting quite muddled here, and paused for a moment to ask me,
"Who else in your family has the diabetes?"
To which I replied "No one".
"What?!", he exclaimed, "are you an only child?"
"No, I have a brother, but I'm the only one, ever, in my family to have developed diabetes."

He now got very serious, and looked at me sternly. "So, what reason has your endocrinologist given to you to explain what caused your diabetes?"

I now conceded I was fighting a losing battle, so delivered the spiel "my type 1 diabetes was caused by unexplained auto-immunogenic targeting and destruction of my pancreatic beta cells. There is some evidence for a genetic predisposition to auto-immunity, but as of yet an inherited, genetic marker remains to be definitively identified..... you're not familiar with this?"

Sure enough, he looked at me like I was speaking Latin.

I then thanked him, signed the million bullshit bits of paper you have to sign to talk to these monkeys and left, shaking my head at the fact these are the same people who want a freaking $100K pa pay-rise!!!!!! YOU COVER THIS STUFF ON DAY 1 OF MEDICAL SCHOOL, SURELY??!?


Rant over.
Thank you for your time.

PS. I now, more than ever, fully support the Rename Type I Diabetes To Something Without The Word "Diabetes" In It social movement.
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Postby Cee » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:13 pm

I think I have seen GPs who went to the same medical school as the moron you saw. What can you do? You just have to laugh and leave.
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Postby artemis » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:35 pm

Did you get your referral after all that shit?
Infundo ergo sum.
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Postby Kate » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:56 pm

That is a truly 'terrific' story. All I can say is WOW! And echo artemis that I am intrigued as to whether you got your indefinite referral !?
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Postby deviation72 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:22 pm

Sigh. What do they teach some of these people in medical school? While I have a great GP, I've had my share of infuriating experiences with other health professionals. Why do we put up with it?
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Postby Jen (nli) » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:14 pm

Yep - you were probably the first Type 1 he's seen. If they do learn that stuff in day one of med school, then that's where its stayed for some GPs!

I find it quite difficult to go to GPs now. I'll go for my daughter... but I do find that anything to do with me is probably better handled at a specialist level. Referrals are one of those things where you need to go to a GP - and I think a lot of GPs like to turn the appointment into a "lets check to see what's happening with you". I can understand this... but - oh, gosh lets make sure you understand what you are asking about first! I'm mildly shocked at the low level of understanding many GPs have of the condition.

The ironic thing is I have a great GP who actually admits that she doesn't know a lot about Type 1 and I think she is great (she's honest, respectful and quite sensitive about it all). But she's always booked up for weeks in advance - so I'm often sent off to someone else.

I do wish a number of the most ill informed GPs could attend a few conferences on diabetes... or even a day long workshop!
Jen (nli)
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Postby Tony » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:50 pm

The sad thing is that my GP attended an educational and then wanted to manage my D :) At my request, my Endo had to tell him to "back off"

I preferred his earlier ignorance. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
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Postby sty » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:56 pm

Wow. That is truly phenomenal. This must go down in the "wall of shame" for GP's and diabetes.
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Postby Cadence » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:40 am

There are some really great GPs out there, and it's my own fault for not persisting in seeing those doctors instead. The problems is that I find myself deciding that the convenience of being able to get into an appointment THAT DAY with someone who bulk bills, outweighs the irritation of being seen by someone who's never treated a T1D before (or, apparently, read a medical textbook).

By the way, although I got a 12 month referral, I still have to chase up the indefinite version (I'm gonna save that battle for another day).

Thanks for everyone's understanding! It makes the teeth-grinding enragement much easier to bear when you know you can unload on a sympathetic listener!
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