© 2017 Seeing the GP

See the full study at: healthtalk.org

What’s it like seeing the GP for short-term issues?

Everyone’s experience is unique. Some people have very positive experiences. A good consultation often involved having a doctor that they found understanding, approachable and knowledgeable. 

Isaac liked GPs who were friendly and reassuring.

Aaron liked seeing the same GP. She was approachable, friendly and good at explaining everything. She looked at Aaron when she spoke to him rather than at the computer screen.

Although people told us about many positive experiences of good GP care, some also talked about disappointing appointments when things didn’t go so well. Problems included:

•    lack of information, explanation, and involvement in deciding what to do
•    wrong diagnosis or long time to get referred to a specialist
•    rushed appointments
•    poor relationship with the GP
•    seeing different GPs almost every appointment
•    lack of knowledge of mental health
•    not being listened to or taken seriously

 

Susan’s infection was severe. She would have liked more information. She’s had fungal infections for over 6 years.

It seemed like the doctors didn’t care because Winston’s problem wasn’t serious. He would have liked more information about what was wrong with his toe.

Isaac felt annoyed, and that the GP should have spoken directly to him, not to his mum.

Some [GPs] were better than others. Some were kinder and more talking to you as a person, asking you questions. Some were more just get on the computer, don’t even look at you, just sort of ask questions to anyone in the room who will answer. And just type it all down and a bit like the one that just, "Well here's your prescription, go." So, yes the…I've seen a few different types of doctors, yes.

And if we were going to feed back to doctors from talking to young people, what qualities make a good doctor? What would you say are the things that make a good…?

Qualities to make a good doctor. Talking to a person rather than them just…I understand they see a lot of people but talking to them like they are people and there, and not just blankly asking questions and then typing and then, you know, I understand it's …there's a lot to do. But being talked to rather than just them talking to a computer screen and expecting answers, it is generally better, yeah.

And when you’ve seen the doctors, you said they didn’t really talk to you. Did they…?

No. Whenever I went with a parent, they always would just talk to my parent rather than me.

 

Did they ever ask you about you – how's school or anything like that?

A few did, which is the difference between the few doctors. Some of them would ask me questions such as that while waiting for something to happen, or a printer to work or something, they would ask questions. Some would just ignore me and hand me the thing when it had been done. But some of them did ask questions and were nice and started a conversation, yes.