Friday, 8 December 2006

Snapshot of my conversation with my GP

This is again, plain story-telling.

Irene: “ I would like to ask you about the previous result from my previous investigation as I didn’t receive the result in writing”
GP: “ From the investigation, it shows that you have condition X”
Irene: “ Is there any evidence to show that condition X will cause Y?”
GP: “ Tell me something, are you a nurse? Or a doctor?
Irene: “ I am a pharmacist, who work for Primary Care Trust( meaning I keep an eye on GP)

The buzz word is “evidence”. I have been trained and my job is to ensure the medication that health care professionals prescribe is evidence-based. No point prescribing something that doesn’t work and cost NHS money.

He then felt the lump on my neck and then he said :
“ Your neck is tender but I don’t think it’s anything serious. I can give you a form for X-ray but I don’t think giving you an X-ray will show anything, it will just expose you to more radiation. Looks like a swollen gland on your. A course of antibiotics and the swollen gland will go away.( to be honest, I don’t think it’s swollen gland, i confirmed this by asking my colleague GP in my office). I can give you some tablets to relax your muscle on your neck “

“ Oh by the way, you have longer neck than average. Maybe that explains your higher risk of neckache in addition to your posture at work. People with long neck are good dancers. “

That’s new. I have lived all my years on earth and no one ever told me my neck is longer than others. *A sense of excitement over this new discovery.* and the possibility of becoming a professional dancer? Ha ! dream on.. I might really break my neck then.

Irene: “ Are you going to give me diazepam ( the name of a drug whom I know works as muscle relaxant)? “
GP: “ No, Diazepam works only for sciatica I am giving you Methocarbamol

Actually, you don’t need a prescription from me, you can just ask your pharmacist friends to order it straight away from you. ( Oh really? I didn’t know that (*Duh*) I wasn’t expecting that from him )

Irene: “ It’s illegal… *smile* .”

I have never heard of that drug, so I just nod and smile. I came home and look for my drug dictionary, BNF and found that it’s an old old drug, that will explains why my GP prescribed that. Doctors nowadays seldom use it anymore AND it’s documented that the clinical efficacy is not well established.

In the end, I decided not to pay £6.65 for something that has questionable efficacy. I just find my encounter with my Gp very interesting.

A) He help me discover that I have a long neck
B) I have the potential to become a good dancer ( if only I knew it 10 years ago) C) Imagine being prescribed a drug where there is no evidence that it actually works.

On my way home, I was in the tube busy observing other people’s neck. I later asked my husband about the length of my neck. He too was surprise to discover that my neck is actually long. He called me a giraffe because I have lots of top with strips.In fact, as i am writing this blog, i am wearing a black and white strip v-neck top.


  1. Patrick4:09 pm

    Out of curiousity, how old was the GP? They do say that your prescribing habits are dictated by when you qualified from med school...

  2. I think in his 50s.. you are so right patrick i totally agree


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