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Why are doctors seemingly so incompetent?

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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Disclaimer: I respect doctors highly. The title is not literal, it's directed at the several I've seen.

    I've rarely had a successful doctors appointment. They either don't look into anything thoroughly, tell me to live with it or fob me off. Here's some things I've been to them about:

    - I was curious about spots on my foreskin, which were obviously fordyce spots. The doctor told me it was a fungal infection.

    - The same doctor told me nothing could help flat feet, and when I suggested insoles he was like "oh yes that could work"

    - I went to one doctor about my tight foreskin, he said a circumcision is the only option after looking at it when flaccid. It's mild and only tight when erect; circumcision is a last resort. Stretching techniques and steroid cream are viable treatment options, so why tell me I needed an operation? I went to another and she said it will fix itself without looking at it. I'm nearly 19.

    - I have had a constant post-nasal drip for over 2 years which is annoying and always feels like I have a mild cold, in addition to it ruining my voice (I love to sing so obviously wanted it checked out). I was told by another doctor to live with it. It's typically a sign of allergies, it would have been nice to receive advice on that.

    - I have acne scars on my face and back, I brought this up with yet another doctor AND a dermatologist, and they both said absolutely nothing could help scarring. Not laser treatment, not dermabrasion, chemical peels, subscision, fillers or any of the other many treatments effective on different types of scarring.

    - I'm chronically tired and always feel mildly short of breath and get out of breath walking up the stairs, but two different doctors kept saying I'm fit and healthy. I didn't even have a physical. One of the basic things doctors should do, especially if always out of breath and tired.

    - When my Mum took me to a doctor regarding chest pains which seemed to happen when swimming he mentioned asthma, but did nothing about it. A casual "it sounds like it could be asthma" - I'm no expert but something was wrong there too...

    - I've been suffering from what has been diagnosed as depression since 2008, I've seen a counsellor, a psychiatrist and had my meds altered and changed a few times with absolutely no improvement. This one may not be incompetent doctors but surely they would have looked for other causes as my symptoms were unexplainable...

    Fair enough if I went to one and they made a common error, but every time I go to the doctors I feel I may as well have booked an appointment with a carpet cleaner. It has forced me to try and find out what's wrong with me myself which leads people to think I'm OCD or something.

    Would anyone else lose faith in doctors if all they had was disappointing appointments? And do you agree these are bad experiences?
    Depression can be very difficult to treat. Belive me, I've had depression since I was about twelve and an anxiety disorder since early childhood and neither have ever been successfully treated to the point they don't affect me.

    Flat feet - again, very difficult - and usually would require an appt with an expert, if it concerns you so much why not see a podiatrist who can help?

    Fordyce spots - if you knew it was them, why worry and see a doctor?!

    Acne - nothing's proven to cure scars as far as I know, at least not without causing more problems and most of those treatments are I presume only for people with severe scarring. Acne scarring isn't life threatening and if it bothers you so much, why not look into camoflage make up?

    Chest pain/tiredness - probably anxiety or lack of exercise.

    Post nasal drip - annoying but not life threatening. If it bothers you so much ask to see an ENT. Afaik treatments are either nasal sprays or ops to fix the problem, I had that as a wee girl and had to have surgery.

    Excessvie appointments - I wouldn't worry. I've seen the doctor well over 100 times since 2008 and I wouldn't panic, I have apologised before and was told it was not a problem as I was clearly struggling mentally and have a long list of chronic illnesses.. I agree that some GPs can be terrible at their jobs - I've met a few - but some are absolutely fantastic and deserve awards.
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    (Original post by concubine)
    It does seem that an awful lot of people will go to the doctors for stupid, minor things.
    Hospitals are there for the major things. Gps are there to help you with a range of things, including minor ailments. My problems are stupid are they?
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    (Original post by daisydaffodil)
    Depression can be very difficult to treat. Belive me, I've had depression since I was about twelve and an anxiety disorder since early childhood and neither have ever been successfully treated to the point they don't affect me.

    Flat feet - again, very difficult - and usually would require an appt with an expert, if it concerns you so much why not see a podiatrist who can help?

    Fordyce spots - if you knew it was them, why worry and see a doctor?!

    Acne - nothing's proven to cure scars as far as I know, at least not without causing more problems and most of those treatments are I presume only for people with severe scarring. Acne scarring isn't life threatening and if it bothers you so much, why not look into camoflage make up?

    Chest pain/tiredness - probably anxiety or lack of exercise.

    Post nasal drip - annoying but not life threatening. If it bothers you so much ask to see an ENT. Afaik treatments are either nasal sprays or ops to fix the problem, I had that as a wee girl and had to have surgery.

    Excessvie appointments - I wouldn't worry. I've seen the doctor well over 100 times since 2008 and I wouldn't panic, I have apologised before and was told it was not a problem as I was clearly struggling mentally and have a long list of chronic illnesses.. I agree that some GPs can be terrible at their jobs - I've met a few - but some are absolutely fantastic and deserve awards.
    I didn't know for sure they were fordyce spots as I'd never heard of them on the foreskin. Another doctor confirmed they were normal because the anti fungal cream didn't work.

    I didn't say cure acne scars, I know that. They said absolutely nothing can improve them. I'm wiser now and have done my own research.

    I thought the first line of action was to see my GP about flat feet, they told me to go buy my own insoles, I thought you had to have them custom fitted? I wasn't fully aware of a Podiatrist I guess.

    Chest pain/tiredness - I agree lack of exercise will exacerbate these issues but like I said, it's not when I exercise, I could be sitting here. But maybe you're right, maybe it is anxiety, but a full physical will put my mind at ease and I can discuss the asthma that is on my records like the GP told me.

    ENT - I have seen one and they said I have vocal inflammation, but didn't say why and didn't mention post-nasal drip. I know not life-threatening, but it's ruining my voice, they're always inflamed and I love singing. So it's important to me.

    Thanks
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    I've always found my GP fairly useless, Ive switched in my surgery too but I've not found anyone to be better.

    I won't go into all of the issues I've had but one doctor in particular sort of make me laugh, I went to see him about going onto the pill or something and he basically told me to go and see a female GP as 'she's more qualified' and when I went to see her she told me that she's no more qualified than he was.
    I also had to go and see him a few weeks back about a pain in my lower right side (too low for appendicitis) and again told me I'd be better off seeing a female GP rather than him doing any kind of exam which I thought was quite weird, as a GP shouldn't you be comfortable treating a woman for a female problem?
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    What do you expect if GPs are incentivised to not care about patients.
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    (Original post by Zenzic)
    Sucks to be you
    It sucks to be you right now...

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    Will give a virtual cookie to anyone who works out where that's from :teeth:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hospitals are there for the major things. Gps are there to help you with a range of things, including minor ailments. My problems are stupid are they?


    I never said that, but get butthurt all you want.
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    I went to the doctors as I've been feeling depressed for years, I explained how I felt and told him I wanted to die, thought about suicide a lot and even planned it. He laughed and said as I'm 17, I'm too young to be depressed, so maybe it's just hormones.
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    jeez, doctors aren't mind readers! GPs don't specialise so you can't expect them to know everything.
    Yes, sometimes my GP hasn't got it quite right but most of the time it's been good.

    but i've got to say nurses are so underrated, when i was in hospital they were clearly the ones running the place!
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    (Original post by EmmaJane_)
    I went to the doctors as I've been feeling depressed for years, I explained how I felt and told him I wanted to die, thought about suicide a lot and even planned it. He laughed and said as I'm 17, I'm too young to be depressed, so maybe it's just hormones.
    Ugh this is what I mean about doctors taking their own values into it without actually caring for the patient. Similar sort of thing happened to me. They should help you without judging you and mocking you. I know some who do and have great respect for them. The others are just too ignorant and need more life experience to open their small minds.
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    you've obviously never met Dr House :P
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    I've had similar experiences. Ironically, several years back I had nothing but the utmost respect for those in the average medical centre. Fast-forward several dismissive, incompetency-ridden and quite frankly- rude appointments later, my opinion has changed quite a bit.

    Funny I should come into this thread today- I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon concerning a nasal drip (allergies), and find myself wondering whether or not I'll be dismissed as being a pettifogging melodramatic.

    We shall see.
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    (Original post by thegodofgod)
    It sucks to be you right now...

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    Will give a virtual cookie to anyone who works out where that's from :teeth:
    Beyonce


    (Original post by EmmaJane_)
    I went to the doctors as I've been feeling depressed for years, I explained how I felt and told him I wanted to die, thought about suicide a lot and even planned it. He laughed and said as I'm 17, I'm too young to be depressed, so maybe it's just hormones.
    Wow, that is the epitome of incompetence!


    (Original post by canŵio)
    jeez, doctors aren't mind readers! GPs don't specialise so you can't expect them to know everything.
    Yes, sometimes my GP hasn't got it quite right but most of the time it's been good.

    but i've got to say nurses are so underrated, when i was in hospital they were clearly the ones running the place!
    I'm hardly complaining about a doctor working with me but getting it wrong on the odd occasion. I'm complaining about the fact that 99% of the experiences I've had have been dreadful and unsatisfactory, and I feel no better for it.
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    (Original post by chopsticks)
    Ugh this is what I mean about doctors taking their own values into it without actually caring for the patient. Similar sort of thing happened to me. They should help you without judging you and mocking you. I know some who do and have great respect for them. The others are just too ignorant and need more life experience to open their small minds.
    I completely agree! Just because my GP doesn't "believe" people under 18 can be depressed, doesn't mean he's right!
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    (Original post by LaBelleEtLeBete)

    Also, every doctor I've seen (and believe me, I've seen many) has told me not to join support groups and not research my symptoms online. Because asking people who have been in the same situation as you for advice is completely illogical.
    This makes no sense at all. GPs and consultants don't generally have time to explain the ins and outs of medical conditions. Therefore, it makes sense to research them. I was diagnosed with a rare medical condition a few years ago, researched it online and joined a few online groups. This meant I could meet people with this condition.

    I saw a psychiatrist a few weeks ago and he said that it might be worth joining a local support group and gave me the details.

    The GP I'm seeing on Thursday is well aware that I researched Autism before seeing him. That way, I was able to put my case forward as to why I think I have it.

    I went to the doctors as I've been feeling depressed for years, I explained how I felt and told him I wanted to die, thought about suicide a lot and even planned it. He laughed and said as I'm 17, I'm too young to be depressed, so maybe it's just hormones.
    That's ridiculous. It doesn't make your depression any less valid than the 30 year old male who goes to his GP due to his depression.
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    (Original post by philistine)
    I've had similar experiences. Ironically, several years back I had nothing but the utmost respect for those in the average medical centre. Fast-forward several dismissive, incompetency-ridden and quite frankly- rude appointments later, my opinion has changed quite a bit.

    Funny I should come into this thread today- I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon concerning a nasal drip (allergies), and find myself wondering whether or not I'll be dismissed as being a pettifogging melodramatic.

    We shall see.
    Let us know what they say
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    My doctor is absolutely fantastic. She has worked for the last couple of years to try and work out what is causing a cough that I have, and hasn't complained once.

    Another doctor at the same surgery, however, has been known to send me away saying that I just had a cold, whereas I actually had a chest infection that I took a week of antibiotics for (prescribed by my own doctor). I went back when the course had finished, and it had spread to the other lung as well, so took double strength antibiotics and steroids to get rid of. Obviously not a cold...! And to make matters worse? He goes 'this is a thermometer. I'm going to use it to take you temperature'. (Bear in mind that I was 17 at the time, doing all of the sciences and maths for A levels, and have two places to study veterinary medicine...)

    Needless to say I make a point of going to see my doctor now.

    I think you need to find a doctor that suits you, and that you feel comfortable with though. Most of them are really really good, it's just a couple that aren't quite so much.
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    (Original post by EmmaJane_)
    I went to the doctors as I've been feeling depressed for years, I explained how I felt and told him I wanted to die, thought about suicide a lot and even planned it. He laughed and said as I'm 17, I'm too young to be depressed, so maybe it's just hormones.
    :mad:

    Would you want my shoe? You can have it and throw it at that incompetent noob.

    :console:
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    My GP is amazing. I went in with something completely different (a rash) and just one symptom he picked up on and it turned out I had a UTI. If I'd left it much longer I could have ended up in hospital. I did actually end up in hospital for it (it didn't clear up and then progressed into a kidney infection that three rounds of antibiotics didn't fight off), but he sorted all that out for me and got me straight onto a ward, advised me on pain medication, done all the tests, didn't just write me off, and is now doing a referral to a specialist and for a scan to try and work out why it hasn't gone yet, and has also offered to send evidence to the exam boards because it's screwed up my exams.

    The doctors in the hospital were different. Tip to any medical students, when you're doing that thing when one of the doctors takes you around all the beds, try not to look at the patient as either some block of meat you want to cut into or some circus freakshow attraction. I've never felt so uncomfortable in my life.
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    (Original post by canŵio)
    jeez, doctors aren't mind readers! GPs don't specialise so you can't expect them to know everything.
    Yes, sometimes my GP hasn't got it quite right but most of the time it's been good.

    but i've got to say nurses are so underrated, when i was in hospital they were clearly the ones running the place!
    This! You see the doctors once, maybe twice a day, the nurses are there constantly and they're (usually) always cheerful, friendly but they know what they're doing. There's something about doctors that puts me on edge (maybe the fact that very few of them ever smile and they always have that look on their face like "Am I doing this wrong?"), whereas nurses are always comforting and smiling and put you at ease. The HCAs on the ward I was on were the same - maybe being grumpy and nervous is just a doctor thing

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