Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another medical post? You decide.

Part of my job is to try and help GPs improve their service. One of the things we tell them to do is to consult their users to find out what they want. Earlier in this blog I had a bit of a rant against fictional portrayals of the medical profession, see here. So I thought I'd do a little user consultation of my own. So, if you are very bored why not answer some or all of the following questions...
1. Who is your favourite fictional doctor and why?
2. What makes a good doctor?
3. Any bad experiences of the medical profession? Tell me here.

Is this your sort of thing?

or maybe this?

or even this?

PS I see the Guardian must have been reading Patroclus


richard said...

1. Dr Who. He gets it right every time, doesn't he.

2.Ears. And a sonic screwdriver.

3.You've got one of ours already but stay in any hospital ward long enough and you'll be very scared, especially if you self medicate. How dare you be so audacious as to know what you need! What's that stuff angina sufferers inhale doc? Sharon saw that taken off the elderly lady in the bed opposite and locked away by an overly officious night sister back in February. She said she didn't need it (honest!). An hour later, after repeated demands for it to be given back and the lady was in the cardiac unit apparently in a bad way. We don't know what happened after that. And this was in Leighton Hospital Crewe who have had their fare share of bad publicity in the last three years regarding a nurse allegedly offing elderly patients.

ziggi said...

1. House
2. Time
3. Too awful for public consumption, but I am forever scarred

Tedward's Missing Ear said...

1. Dr Doug Ross (can't believe you resisted the opportunity to post a picture of Gorgeous George). Closely followed by Dr Julius Hibbert.

2. A bit of humanity.

3.Too many to mention but the one that stands out was following diagnosis that my pregnancy was not progressing and my 11 week foetus had not survived being brought through an antenatal clinic filled with heavily pregnant women up to a labour ward where I was brought from a room filled with mothers and new babies for my d and c. Heartbreaking and just plain cruel.

llewtrah said...

I don't have a fave fictional doctor, I'm afraid. This is because I'm hooked on documentary channels and don't see much fiction.

A good doctor: One who listens and who doesn't pigeonhole me withing 30 seconds. One who treats me as an individual and not just a set of symptoms. A few years ago I started getting strange symptoms including nausea after eating. Rather than find out more he prescribed anti-nausea tablets and whoosh! next patient please. That's in spite of me being assertive that something was not right and it wasn't just a stomach bug. Chatting some weeks later (and still with odd symptoms) to a non-medical friend he remarked that my symptoms were strikingly similar to those he experienced before Type 2 diabetes kicked in. This scared me and I got online for more info. I lost 3 stone, now watch my weight and watch the sort of food I eat. The strange symptoms have gone and no more nausea after eating. My doctor didn't even mention the possibility of type 2 diabetes despite my age and obesity at the time (I have lost more weight since and my BMI is only just into "overweight").

Bad experience? I was 16/17 and had severe depression; severe enough that I couldn't function at school or cope with decisions or meeting people. The first doctor I saw said "it's because you resent your father." He found out that dad's hobby was sailing and I'm terrified of water and decided I therefore resented my father! He didn't believe me when I said this wasn't true - I was apprently repressing my resentment of my father. The Dr told me to go home and splash water on my face till I lost my fear of water and I'd feel better.

My parents took me back to our old family doctor (we'd moved house, but dad knew the old doctor socially). The doctor asked if I masturbated. At the time I really wasn't interested in sex, either solo or duet. He then asked if it was because I didn't know how. I said I wasn't interested at that time. He offered to show me how! I declined. Had I not been so depressed, vulnerable and unassertive I'd have reported him for his behaviour; it was way out of order. He suggested I was a repressed lesbian, in fact he tried to convince me this was the case (especially as I was at a girls' school). I left the surgery in tears. When, after a lot of questioning I finally told my parents (very difficult - they still aren't that understanding about masturbation) they cut ties with the doctor.

I thought I was going mad and my parents were at their wits end. Finally I had blood tests done and it was nailed down to post-viral depression. I was given meds to keep me sane while my body recovered.

Doctors who project their own obsessions with Jung or Freud, or with their current pet theories, are really bad news for patients. In spite of having since worked in hospitals (path labs) and seeing things from the other side I actively avoid going to the doctor (sorry) because of those 2 negative experiences.

Billy said...

Dr Claire Maitland :)

Geoff said...

1. Dr Watson. Because no Watson, no Holmes.

2. I've never had a bad doctor so I can't really compare and contrast. I suppose a pragmatic response to patients' needs.

3. None so far.

Tattieheid said...

1) Dr Who - he's the only sensible doctor I've seen and he's basically a fantasy.

2) Doctors that treat people and listen and explain rather than making assumptions. A bit of humanity wouldn't go amiss either.

3)Too many to list here. I find I now have little faith in doctors. My current GP is useless but I live in a rural area with few or even worse alternatives. A view that seems to be shared by a lot of people in this area, not just me.

My experience of hospitals and hospital doctors is not a very happy one either.

In my experience good GP's are few and far between but it would take a 3 page essay just to give recent examples of my current GP's failings.

Molly Bloom said...

1. Any doctor in a Carry On film...they always make me laugh.

2. One with a very cold stethoscope. And one who doesn't say things like, 'God will make it better.' (That's what one said to me earlier this year.)

3. Errrmmm, I haven't really had one...touch wood. Although I know someone who once had a doctor who injected something into his hand and missed the vein and his hand blew up to the size of an orange. It was really scary.

I'm sitting here seething about Llewtrah's experience actually. That is just horrific!

Molly Bloom said...

Oh God, I forgot House. Yummers as Billy would say.

Dave said...

a. Hawkeye. Brilliant bedside manner.

b. A sense of humour.

c. You have been reading my blog recently? First kidney stone, my GP gave me morphine injections, and the pain went away. Next morning, in hospital, and in serious agony, nurses said I couldn't have anything for the pain, 'until Doctor does his rounds'. Three hours that took.

So this time, when the pain started, I went to my local surgery, told receptionist I was starting with a kidney stone, so could a doctor please just prescribe some painkillers and I'd go home until it passed. She offered me an emergency appointment in 24 hours. I ended up ringing the night number, when a kindly doctor came to see me at 1 am and gave me something for the pain.

So not actually doctor problems, but those ancilliary people who keep you away from actually seeing one.

Lyn said...

1. None that I can think of
2&3. When I first came to Australia, I tried to get a recommendation for a woman doctor, got one and I went to her feeling a bit low and cried, she passed me a tissue and wrote a script for serapax and moved me out of her surgery rapidly. I took them for a week and they were horrible and I felt no better so I stopped taking them and did what I usually do (distraction tactics) but I KEPT going to her. I lacked all kinds of confidence. Fortunately, she was away once and I had no choice but to go and see her male partner (not husband, surgery only)and he was brilliant! left wing,listened to ME and was always running late because he never turned anyone out before they needed to be and I always allowed an extra hour and didnt mind because he treated me the same. I went to him for around 20 years and then I had to move and I was really lucky in that I now have a fantastic woman gp in my area who is similar in attitude and values to my previous gp. I have a disability that precludes me from working most of the time and am poor and she often goes against the practice rules to "bulk bill" me which means I dont pay upfront and I get charged precisely what the govt rebate is PLUS when possible she has gone out of her way to give me a sample if she has one that will save me money. She also listens to me really well and tries to find a generic of medication which is cheaper for me. I never feel marginalised by her and I didn't by the previous gp either. So, a humane gp who doesn't have a god complex. Sorry if I mixed up the order of the questions.

kalista said...

1. Dr Mac - someone had to say it didn't they!

2. Someone who is patient, understanding, intelligent and professional.

3. I've had a positive experience of the medical profession, as my parents both work in it. Did once have a negative experience when I had the BCG, they put the needle in wrong resulting in it a) bloody hurting b) making me faint

llewtrah said...

I've realised that about the only fictional doctors I know of were in A Country Practice (Aussie soap). My kid sisters adored Dr Simon Bowen in that series so we had to watch it when it was on, at least until I bought a little portable telly.

realdoc said...

Thanks all of you for sharing here. Some of those doctors sound horrific.(Llewtrah, particularly) Always remember you can shop around although I appreciate that can be difficult in rural areas.
If I am ill I tend to avoid doctors myself, don't trust them. But in extremis the team of Drs. Ross, Mac and Who can mop my fevered brow, and any other fevered bits they might find.

Robert Swipe said...

1. Who is your favourite fictional doctor and why?

Zhivago. He managed to operate in incredibly cold conditions without his moustache snapping off once.

2. What makes a good doctor?
A moustache resiliant to extremes of temperature.

3. Any bad experiences of the medical profession? Tell me here.

Mine told me my rotting cock was (and I quote) perfectly normal.

I blame Patricia Hewitt.

First Nations said...

Bravo, realdoc! You tell it! You have a lot of integrity putting this out there.
I'm going to say right now that I've managed to have a couple of doctors that deserved sainthood. Good, caring, amazing people.
1. James Herriot. Yes, I know he was a vet. No, I don't care. Most people-doctors I've seen I wouldn't trust to examine a cat anyway so theres the playing field level.

2. Being genuinely interested in being a doctor. I've seen too many that were burnt out, trapped, uncaring or overwhelmed who still hung on despite the fact they were doing nobody any good.

3. a. sexually molested by an emergency room doctor. b. subjected to a hilariously funny and disturbingly personal mock 'interrogation' by a doctor and a group of medical students while I was under sodium pentothal. oh, that was a laugh!

c. subjected to a very stoned doctors' repeated attempts to put a shunt into the back of my hand (woops...sorry, try, my hand is shaking! woops...)which resulted in a geyser of blood that would have done Sam Peckinpah proud and a permanent scar.

of course all this happened in america so thats not very much help, is it.

The Murphmeister said...

1. Dr Finlay

2. Assuring Scottish Accent
Ability to look everything up on Google
Warm Hands and sense of humour

3. Dr Snoddie, Dr Strangelove, Dr Ian Paisley

chatterbox said...

1. I like most fictional doctors, but Dr Mac is currently my favourite !

2. One who not only has ears, but knows how to use them properly.

3. Plenty of minor bad experiences which are balanced by the good. Apart from the medical staff when my grandmother was dying - they kept turning off her drip when they thought no-one was looking. I think she was taking too long.

llewtrah said...

Shopping around is much easier now, plus I live in a larger town with more choice. The sex-obsessed Dr was knocking off the local MP's wife. When he suggested teaching me how to masturbate, I darn near jumped out the window. I figured out the solo sex myself once the urge arose, which was not until I got over post viral depression.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

1. The doctor played by Mandy Patinkin in 'Chicago Hope' lo these many years ago. He was wonderful.

2. Someone who actually believes his/her patients when they describe their symptoms. You'd be amazed at the number of times a doctor has looked me straight in the eye (on both sides of the pond, mind you, so it's a fairly universal flaw) and told me "You're not in any pain." Just because he/she couldn't find the cause! AAARGH!

3. Hon, come over for coffee and I'll spend an entire weekend telling you my bad experiences with the medical profession.

(my dentist is ace, though.)

llewtrah said...

I have a very dishy French veterinarian. If he switched to human medicine I'd end up with hypochondria and need my pulse taken weekly! I have the only cat with Munchausen's-by-proxy (more accurately, she needed several months of meds to stabilise her for surgery and is now fully recovered).

realdoc said...

CB: god an ace dentist! Those guys scare the crap out of me.
Vets on the other hand are often nice if slightly pungent

Del said...

Hello! Ooh, my first comment. I hope I don't make any typos and make a poor first impression...

1. Dr John Zoidberg in Futurama. Because he is very very funny, and the antithesis of what you'd expect in a doctor. In that he's a hideous alien lobster with no money or friends who kills all his patients. The only other doctor that comes close is Dick Van Dyke's Dr Mark Sloan in Diagnosis: Moider. Not only does he practice medicine, but he solves crime! What a guy.

2. I guess you want a doctor who treats you like a human being, rather than another broken lump on the conveyor belt. And one who'll let you finish a sentence before making a diagnosis, ignoring anything else you have to say.

3. Almost all my experiences have been positive. I spent a lot of time in hospital as a kid having operations on bits of me that didn't work properly, and it was all fine. I've generally stuck with the same practice near my parents, and I feel very happy going there.

Lea Harris said...

On a different note ~ who is the photo of on your profile? She is beautiful


annie said...

Dr Doolittle. Who could walk and talk and squawk like the animals.

(though failing Dr Doolittle, maybe Dr Mac.)

Good doctors listen and give you time. Mine have all been amazing and fantastic, luckily enough, especially after hearing Llewtrah's horror stories. (Though our university practice was satirised in 'A Very Peculiar Practice'.)

Nurses and GPs' receptionists are another matter, now...

llewtrah said...

I loved "A Very Peculiar Practice" especially the episode about music causing threshold shift in hearing (being a gig-goer myself!) There was a spin-off called A Very Polish Practice, just one episode I think.

realdoc said...

The picture is a Mrs Styles, don't know who she is but she looks like a 'lady' doctor should, don't you think? A very peculiar practice...fantastic remember the nuns.

Mangonel said...

Golly Realdoc you hit quite a nerve here. Divide the total length of posts by the number of them and . . . ITS HUGE!

Me, I've loved all my doctors. No, I mean Really. Loved. I have an especial fondness for - is it OK to mention names? Dr Deirdre O'Gallagher from when I lived in the Big Wen. It's one of the blessings I count, having read enough history and (eugh) seen recreations on telly, that I live now and not then. The crappest doctor now has to have a higher success rate in any medical field that - dunno, probably even 50 years ago. So Gawd bless the lot o' ye!

Ah yes - that was my answer to Q3. Q2 - another vote for Paying Attention. And Q1 - Is there a half-swiss anaesthetist in the house? No? Bugger.

ziggi said...

I love my Vet - I have to, she has ALL my money.