Asthma UK community forum

etiquette when dealing with doctors

Just wondered if any of those out there who have more experience with seeing doctors can give some advice on etiquette. I got a referral to the hospital chest clinic last autumn, and was seeing a nice registrar (yes, did actually get to see the same person several times in a row) and felt I was starting to get somewhere. Then in March saw the head honcho consultant, who discharged me back to GP. Four months, three ordinary splats and one hossie admission later (and still on the pred), I’m due back at his clinic for the post admission review in six weeks. I would much rather go back to seeing his registrar. A) he knows me already so wouldn’t have to start from scratch B) I feel I can actually trust the registrar, who seemed at least half human (unlike most docs I’ve met, sorry to all the medical type people out there, yes I do have a problem with authority figures!).

So, is it possible to ask to see a registrar, or do I just have to take pot luck with whoever is around on the day of the clinic? Is it likely that the same reg will still be there, or do they move around? If I did ask would it be a huge breach of etiquette and upset the consultant?

Also, while I’m on the topic of doctors, does anyone have any ideas about whether it is possible to get respiratory docs to talk to ENT docs? I suppose I’d have to get my GP to refer me separately? I’ve mentioned nose/sinus probs to every doc I’ve seen (and you seem to get to see an awful lot when you’re an in patient, all asking the same questions), and how I think it is making the asthma worse. Some say ‘we’ll get that checked out’, others say ‘if we get the asthma right they nose probs will go’ and others say ‘not related’. Not sure if it is something I should push.

I know I don’t deal well with doctors, and I’m getting nervous about this already – so even any ideas about how to get the best out of doctors would be useful!

thanks for any advice!


8 Replies

Hi Ali

With my son, I will not accept any change in medication etc from any-one else. They all know that now and are very good about it. Even when he is in hospital, they wait for his consultant. The other week he was on holiday, so another consultant suggested hourly nebs etc and I laughed at him! I told him my son needed amino drip and the dose- he promptly carried out the treatment. It still took 10 days for him to recover sufficiently to come home. That was 3 weeks ago and still not 100%. I s'pose that he has been asthmatic since 5 months old and no-one knows him better than me.

My sons consultant telephones me to see how we are getting on and to discuss medication. He has reffered my son to other specialists

I would ask to see the registrar you are the patient!

Good luck


Hi Ali

Firstly you can ask which doc you see at clinic and if you would prefer to see the reg then im sure it would be possible. As for the same reg each time - in our hossi the reg's stay with the con for about 6/8 months then go elsewhere. I am quite lucky as we have 2 resp cons and the reg's, SHO's and HO's work in conjuction with each other so they do 6 months under one con then 6 months under the other and on the ward rounds they see all patient so they get to know the patients and their particular probs. It just gets confusing when they all change to new ones!!

On the other matter about your ENT - i posted on here a couple of months ago about my GP not treating me for a sore throat that id had for weeks saying it was for my con to sort. I thought this was a bit rude as my con is for my chest probs, but some wise peeps on here advised me that it was important to tell my con as it could be the meds that i was taking that caused the probs. It may well be the same for you but i would keep pushing your con to get it looked at.

Dont give up and fight for the right to see the doc of yr choice.

Take care and let me know what happens.



As Kymiii has mentioned registrars rotate around different hospitals and often stay in one place for rather short time. Hoever it is definitely checking if the one you have seen before is still there and if so to get appoitment with somone you had seen before. It would make it easier for everyone involved, deffinitely makes sense to me. At the end of tha day patients are now suposed to be encouraged to make choices and control their own conditions. The consultant should not bossy patients areound or get offended if they make their own choices (although some old school doctors still are).


Ali ask for who you want to see, whoever you see have a list of quests for them. The ENT and asthma are definetly related. Look up on google from a reputable site and take it in with you. Or phone the nurses here on helpline they will advise you! Dont forget not all chest or respiratory cons are totall asthma specialists and as with anything all have different opinions. I worked as a nurse we always used to say with some cons you could ask them same quest everyday of week and get a different answer. Other Cons will only do things their way! I have a very maverick cons and she has retired now. But she was woonderful. Ask to be referred to your resp nurse at hospital or surgery that will also help or referral to a breathe easy group.


Thanks everyone, that's all really useful. Sounds as though the reg. might not be there still, but I'll definitely ask. and whichever way, I'll try and go prepared.

thanks again,



ali I wouldn't worry about it I've just managed to upset my doctor big style by going to RBH off my own back. If hes got a problem with it its his fault not yours your trying to make your life easier not his. Maybe its because I'm a stroppy teenager I take an attitude like that but I no longer take crap from doctors I've taken it for long enough when I was younger and didn't know any better I won't stand for it anymore though. If it upsets him if hes as professional as he acts he'll put it aside, do what you think is best for you, be selfish.

tks xxxxx


Tks, the very last thing you are is a stroppy teenager! not unless you are totally different in real life from the way you come across in your posts! You are so mature, esp with all you are having to deal with. What you say is really sensible - after all our health is more important than doctor's sensibilities - i am only just realising that I do need to take responsibility!

ali xx


Kinda reminds me of my last OP appt...

I was called in by the reg (shouldn't have been as am on cons only referral) and said look I don't mind you seeing me (he'd treated me one night on the ward a week before when was taken VERY bad) BUT that it seemed pointless as I needed to see cons as if the cons was strugglinh to sort me out what chance had he got (my cons is a worldwide respected asthma/allergy specialist)...

He didnt mind at all...

Even my cons wasn't offended when I requested (with his permission) my GP refer me to the Heartlands (nearest brittle/severe asthma clinic centre to me - equivalent of Brompton just closer)...

I got the referral (still in place) but my cons is setting up the SAME clinic structure at my own hospital so we (gp, me and cons) have ALL agreed that it will be held OPEN (Heartlands - Dr Mansuur - agree to keep me on list so IF appt is needed it can be sent without re-appling for funding - had to fight PCT for funding of referral)...

But my cons said that IF they could come up with anything then its worth it and wasn't offended but HAPPY that I was willing to FIGHT for my health as he said ""It shows a positive mental attitude in NOT accepting the circumstances""...

And with a life-limiting (as he describes it) attitude can make alotta difference to getting anywhere...

Sorry rambling but do NOT worry about offending DR's cause if they do get offended its their problem not yours...


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