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GP willing to refer to specialist in Canberra?

By Watson 14 September 2011 41

I don’t want to post the whole story here, but I want to take my daughter to see a specialist at the Sydney Westmead hospital. I called them, described the problem to them and they seemed confident that they could help us. However, the GP I last saw would not give me a referral.

Can anyone recommend a GP who is less stingy with referrals? I don’t want to have to use trial and error and pay a fortune to get this referral.

Please spare me any lectures. I am at my wits end and my child needs specialist help.


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GP willing to refer to specialist in Canberra?
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MrForthright 9:42 pm 15 Aug 12

Watson is being unfairly criticised. The so-called trained professionals someone referred to are not always very professional. Ever been prescribed a medication that doesn’t work? So you go back and say that, and the response is “take another course” or “double the dose and keep going”. Pure laziness. Eventually you are so sick they ask the question “have you ever had this before?”. “Yes”. Oh. How many times have I been mis-diagnosed? Several. And do they ever ask if you have ever had scans or x-rays or particular tests and could they see the relevant results. No. And my Dad was in the Pharmaceutical industry for 50 years. He said doctors have shares in pharmaceutical companies. Hence the over-prescribing which costs the nation a bomb and also has the desirable effect of getting you out of the consulting room quickly.

Chronic 6:04 pm 16 Oct 11

There is a paediatric specialist who comes down from Goulburn once a week, Dr Ros Davis at Majura Clinic at Dickson. She also is a GP. She is on the dual disability team in Goulburn. My daughter has multiple disabilities and I find her very good. She is very practical and down to earth. She does refer patients to other specialists.

billyboy2 7:20 pm 20 Sep 11

I’ve also had a lot of trouble finding a good Dr, even changed to a Dr on a friend’s recommendation but that particular Dr didn’t live up to the recommendation.

I say good on you for persisting to find a Dr who will get you the help you need.

Last year I was seriously ill and I had a gut feeling it was one particular illness but despite repeated trips to the Dr my symptoms were dismissed as something minor. I got sicker and sicker but the Dr wouldn’t listen. Eventually, to humour me, the Dr suggested some over the counter medication that did nothing for the problem. I cannot describe how sick I was. I could barely function (ie, could barely stand or walk and breathing was becoming difficult) and I would go days without being able to eat, I was losing weight like you wouldn’t believe. I went to see another Dr and was dismissed again. Still losing weight and still so incredibly sick I went to another Dr who reluctantly gave me a script for something a bit stronger than the over the counter stuff but that didn’t do much. Finally I found a Dr that listened to me and ran some tests and that Dr arranged for me to get into a specialist urgently – ie within days of my visit. The specialist saw me and knew exactly what the problem was, which is what I felt sure it was, and was put on the right medication. Finally I was able to function again and could return to work at last.

I went through months of hell and if I hadn’t ‘shopped around’ for the right Dr I don’t know how much longer my body would have taken it.

Watson 1:47 pm 20 Sep 11

emj said :

I was interested in this post as I too am trying to find a good doctor and am finding it quite difficult. My heart goes out to you Watson, and good luck in searching for answers.
It amazes me how many people judge others so easily without knowing the circumstances and are more interested in their own opinions despite being asked to respect your emotional state at this difficult time. Take comfort in that many people haven’t read your intial post properly – they are quick to say that you are self diagnosing when it is obvious it is the opposite and that you are simply trying to see a specialist who is prepared to do the research and you trust will look after your daughter. You have taken responsibility for your daughters health and I applaude you.
Good luck.

Thanks. I have indeed not made a diagnosis at all. It is the journey to get to an evidence based diagnosis which is proving to be difficult and frustrating and in the mean time I feel like a crap parent for letting my child suffer from the symptoms she is experiencing. Which obviously aren’t life threatening but are affecting her day to day life significantly.

I can give you a list of doctors you should avoid? 😉 Or a list of doctors that are perfect if you really only want a prescription or a note for work.

emj 7:25 am 20 Sep 11

I was interested in this post as I too am trying to find a good doctor and am finding it quite difficult. My heart goes out to you Watson, and good luck in searching for answers.
It amazes me how many people judge others so easily without knowing the circumstances and are more interested in their own opinions despite being asked to respect your emotional state at this difficult time. Take comfort in that many people haven’t read your intial post properly – they are quick to say that you are self diagnosing when it is obvious it is the opposite and that you are simply trying to see a specialist who is prepared to do the research and you trust will look after your daughter. You have taken responsibility for your daughters health and I applaude you.
Good luck.

Ben_Dover 10:56 am 19 Sep 11

Watson said :

EvanJames said :

watson, the eye swollen up.. is that the actual eyeball? If so, and you probably know this, it could be the thryroid.

Sorry, I should’ve said that wasn’t a real life example. Was just a pretty poor attempt at demonstrating that you sometimes don’t need a doctor to know what specialist you need to see.
.

And that is a fine example of why you should not self diagnose.

The fact that you have fudged and fumbled around the diagnosis you have given your kid speaks volumes.

milkman 7:26 am 19 Sep 11

Poor kid, I hope you get an answer soon.

Q. What’s the difference between God and doctors?
A. God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.

Watson 7:17 am 19 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

watson, the eye swollen up.. is that the actual eyeball? If so, and you probably know this, it could be the thryroid.

Sorry, I should’ve said that wasn’t a real life example. Was just a pretty poor attempt at demonstrating that you sometimes don’t need a doctor to know what specialist you need to see.

And of course I did consult Dr Google, but I have no intention of trying to guess the diagnosis myself. I just want to see someone who has the skills to decide on the range of tests needed and can make one based on evidence.

EvanJames 11:23 pm 18 Sep 11

watson, the eye swollen up.. is that the actual eyeball? If so, and you probably know this, it could be the thryroid.

Watson 7:19 pm 18 Sep 11

blimkybill said :

Arthur McKenzie said :

Morton made an easy 70 bucks by the look of it. Taxpayer picks up the tab for parental anxiety. BTW how’s the kids eye going?

Those who dismiss Watson as an overly anxious parent have most likely never had to struggle with a chronic but undiagnosed or untreated medical issue, either affecting themself or their child. GPs do not know eveything and some conditions can be very difficult to diagnose. When faced with illness which impacts on your child’s wellbeing it is only right, in fact it’s a parent’s role, to not give up in the quest to understand and get approriate help.

Good on you Watson, and I hope the specialist you see is able to help your daughter.

Thanks. I expected those who make a sport of judging others to turn up because they always do on RA and I swore I would not let it get to me, but it’s hard not to get emotional about this stuff right now.

I got the advice I was after so I’ll just ignore this post now. Thanks again for those who answered my initial question. 🙂

dvaey 4:44 pm 18 Sep 11

Watson said :

Listen to the qualified professional who advises to do nothing or at most makes a half-arsed attempt to treat symptoms or listen to the qualified professional who advises to see a specialist in order to find out what the underlying causes of the symptoms may be? Hm, tough choice, isn’t it.

Youre confusing two issues here. Everyone believes you have the right to shop around for a doctor to find the best diagnosis and/or treatment for your daughter. What we are disagreeing with is the fact that youve chosen a diagnosis for your daughter, chosen a doctor to treat that diagnosis and youre now looking to find a GP who will refer you.

If the GP wishes to test your daughter, how is it different to a specialist ordering the test? You say you want a diagnosis of a problem, but you complain about not wanting to have to go through tests. If you have any previous tests, any doctor will use those results, even if you never complely finished the tests or whatever. Your initial questions and responses in this thread seem to indicate youve made a diagnosis (or someone else has, but not someone qualified to give a referral) and you dont want any low-level GP trying to second guess that opinion.

Ben_Dover 4:27 pm 18 Sep 11

Watson said :

If your eye had been swollen up to the size of a tennis ball for over a year, would you be happy with the GP telling you it wasn’t necessary to see an eye specialist and advise you to put chamomile tea bags on it?

That’s not what happened, but it might as well have.

Hmm… I’m getting a whiff of self diagnosed food intolerance/allergy, with possibly some behavioural issues on the side.

“Eye the size of a tennis ball”? Of course, run of the mill stuff you don’t need a GP for that….

blimkybill 1:22 pm 18 Sep 11

Arthur McKenzie said :

Morton made an easy 70 bucks by the look of it. Taxpayer picks up the tab for parental anxiety. BTW how’s the kids eye going?

Those who dismiss Watson as an overly anxious parent have most likely never had to struggle with a chronic but undiagnosed or untreated medical issue, either affecting themself or their child. GPs do not know eveything and some conditions can be very difficult to diagnose. When faced with illness which impacts on your child’s wellbeing it is only right, in fact it’s a parent’s role, to not give up in the quest to understand and get approriate help.

Good on you Watson, and I hope the specialist you see is able to help your daughter.

Arthur McKenzie 12:14 pm 18 Sep 11

Morton made an easy 70 bucks by the look of it. Taxpayer picks up the tab for parental anxiety. BTW how’s the kids eye going?

Watson 11:46 am 18 Sep 11

If your eye had been swollen up to the size of a tennis ball for over a year, would you be happy with the GP telling you it wasn’t necessary to see an eye specialist and advise you to put chamomile tea bags on it?

That’s not what happened, but it might as well have.

Watson 11:43 am 18 Sep 11

dvaey said :

Watson said :

The doctor I saw yesterday wholeheartedly agreed with my suggestion to see this particular kind of specialist. I choose to trust her opinion over the opinion of the previous GP and that is my good right.

Hang on a second, so you ‘trust her opinion over the opinion of the previous GP’, because of what medical experience? The only reason you said you trust the opinion is because you say it agrees with your suggestion. If this doctor had 50 years experience dealing with the condition you thought your daughter had, and still didnt agree with you, would you keep shopping?

Ive been under the care of specialists for a medical condition since about the age of 2 or 3. I can tell you how important it is to NOT shop around doctors. You should keep ONE doctor, especially if you may have complex medical issues. The last thing you want, is different doctors having different test results or specialist letters. You dont just want a GP who agrees with you now, because what happens when they disagree with you next time, will you shop around again or listen to the qualified professional?

Listen to the qualified professional who advises to do nothing or at most makes a half-arsed attempt to treat symptoms or listen to the qualified professional who advises to see a specialist in order to find out what the underlying causes of the symptoms may be? Hm, tough choice, isn’t it.

If there weren’t so many quack doctors in Canberra, I wouldn’t have to shop around.

dvaey 9:25 am 18 Sep 11

Watson said :

The doctor I saw yesterday wholeheartedly agreed with my suggestion to see this particular kind of specialist. I choose to trust her opinion over the opinion of the previous GP and that is my good right.

Hang on a second, so you ‘trust her opinion over the opinion of the previous GP’, because of what medical experience? The only reason you said you trust the opinion is because you say it agrees with your suggestion. If this doctor had 50 years experience dealing with the condition you thought your daughter had, and still didnt agree with you, would you keep shopping?

Ive been under the care of specialists for a medical condition since about the age of 2 or 3. I can tell you how important it is to NOT shop around doctors. You should keep ONE doctor, especially if you may have complex medical issues. The last thing you want, is different doctors having different test results or specialist letters. You dont just want a GP who agrees with you now, because what happens when they disagree with you next time, will you shop around again or listen to the qualified professional?

Anna Key 7:55 pm 17 Sep 11

Watson said :

The doctor I saw yesterday wholeheartedly agreed with my suggestion to see this particular kind of specialist. I choose to trust her opinion over the opinion of the previous GP and that is my good right.

I knew there’d be someone eventually giving me a hard time about this and acting all holier than thou. But you are not walking in my shoes and you know SFA about my situation. So find another pass-time because I’m a tad close to the edge right now.

Maybe this GP is the one that doesn’t give a flying F and gave you the referral to get you out the door. But I respect your right to agree with the opinion that suits you

Watson 5:29 pm 17 Sep 11

dvaey said :

Maybe rather than shopping around to try and find a doctor who’ll give your daughter what you want (rather than what they with a decade of training) think they want, you focus on getting a good family doctor.

Lots of doctors dont like patients who ‘shop’ around, and especially if your daughter needs specialist treatment it is in both her and your best interests to find a good family doctor who is aware of your family situation. I have needed to goto specialists all my life, and I can confirm that the few times Ive had to see a doctor who wasnt my regular family doctor, Id be given the 3rd degree even for a referal. With my own doctor, I never had any problems. As you point out, new doctors you visited, wanted to make sure your daughter needed the treatment rather than every helicopter parent being able to get their child referred to this specialist. If you think the wait for your specialist is long, imagine if every patient you had to wait for was there because their parents insisted, after doctors cast initial doubt.. should your daughter wait because they cant follow the steps? Should they wait because you cant wait to follow the steps?

I only shop around to find a doctor who will act in my daughter’s best interest, as explained in my previous post. Once I find a doctor I can trust – and they are as rare as hen’s teeth in Canberra for some reason – I will stick with them. And hopefully they won’t move interstate like has happened all too often too.

I have met some clowns in my many visits to GPs. I have lodged official complaints about two and am about to complain about another because in my opinion he totally failed in his duty of care and it could have landed my daughter in hospital if I wouldn’t have gone to another GP the next day.

The times when you trusted your doctor without questioning are long gone. I’ve heard way too many stories of people who were only saved from serious physical damage because they insisted on the proper tests or a second diagnosis. And if it concerns your child, you’ve got to be extra vigilant because they are unable to accurately describe the severity of their symptoms.

Watson 5:20 pm 17 Sep 11

Ben_Dover said :

Doesn’t the fact that the GP refused REFUSED to give you a referral say something?

Doesn’t the fact that you are keeping the details to yourself speak louder?

If your daughter needs to see a specialist, who did the diagnosis and why did they not make a referral?

Have you visited many GPs in Canberra yourself? At least half of them could not give a flying F about their patients. As long as you don’t stay longer than 5 minutes in their consultation room. Then there’s those who do give the appearance that they care but still don’t have the time to listen to the whole story.

The vast majority treat you like you’re a total idiot and seem to have shares in Medicare (I know that’s not possible) because they are reluctant to even send you for the simplest test. I talked about this with a Chinese colleague yesterday and it seemed that I was not imagining that in other countries (including my birth country) they will send you for every possible test to confirm or rule out serious organ malfunctions before they make a final diagnosis. Here lots of doctors seem happy to make a diagnosis based on a description of symptoms only. Which is just not good enough for me. And which is why I want to see a specialist who knows exactly which tests need to be done and can make a diagnosis based on solid evidence. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if some of the doctors I’ve seen even remembered that medicine is an evidence-based science.

And why the hell would I want to bore anyone on RA with my daughter’s medical history? That’s purely between me, my daughter and the doctor.

The doctor I saw yesterday wholeheartedly agreed with my suggestion to see this particular kind of specialist. I choose to trust her opinion over the opinion of the previous GP and that is my good right.

I knew there’d be someone eventually giving me a hard time about this and acting all holier than thou. But you are not walking in my shoes and you know SFA about my situation. So find another pass-time because I’m a tad close to the edge right now.

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