Men's Health Forum
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telling what wrong to receptionist?

What do you think about telling receptionist what the problem?. Its like I said in another post earlier my left testicle been aching so went to docs to make an appointment and the receptionist asked what the problem. There was a queue and people waiting in waiting room. so I just came out with it. My left ball aches when I walk. It got me in in 1 hour but embarrassing saying it and I hate using phones so that why I went to desk. No offence to the receptionist but I don't any one should have to say whats wrong in waiting room when other people are around.

9 Replies

Ideally not but with if you are wanting a soon appointment, you should expect to be asked.

Reception desks are public areas and so maintaining confidentiality is obviously difficult, but you could state it is confidential and then write your symptoms down or request a private discussion.

1 like

not ideal, and you should not have had to experience it.... BUT it is a fact of life right now.... perhaps mention this as a complaint to the practice?


I would imagine blurting it out like that embarrassed more than a few people in the area.

Me ? I would have just said it is personal or asked to discuss in private.

This I would think would be enough to secure your appointment.


Perhaps make a suggestion to the practice that they produce a laminated list of symptoms that would be placed on the reception desk and then pointed to discretely if the same situation arose.

The challenge would be in producing a list that was brief and clear while also giving enough details to be precise.


Good morning:

So as to not embarrass anyone, I would simply say it's a male related issue & let it go at that. That should be sufficient.

If however the receptionist continues to pursue the issue, I would tell her anything else, is between me and the doctor.




That's a coincidence. One of those add things on my facebook page came up saying same thing that patients are being put off going to GP due to receptions asking what the symptoms are. Quite a lot are agreeing too that they shouldn't ask. Like I said its not the reception is fault it be government and docs telling them to do it.

Theres always one what says in comment its ok and this is what they put.

you have a problem telling the receptionist what's wrong then it's probably cos you don't need an appointment! I think you all do a great job x

Worst thing is though is when they say I will get doc to phone you. that's happened be for as well. But only since moving to this new GP.


Well done, Skipper. That isn't easy to do! Recent research by Cancer Research UK suggested that many of us (40%) are put off by having to tell the receptionist what's wrong.

The receptionist is asking so they can decide how best to help you – who you need to see and how soon you need to see them – but you don't have to tell them. You can say it's something you don't want to talk about in public or even something like I'm sorry, I can't tell you but I need to speak the GP. If the receptionist insists on being told (and most will respect your choice), you could ask for a copy of the surgery's code of conduct and make a complaint. If this feels too confrontational, other ways round the problem include asking someone else to make the appointment for you or booking it on the phone or online.


I'm 36 and every time I had to make an appointment its always been a women receptionist I have never ever seen a male. Then she said all we have is a female is that ok so I said yeah. Any way I already left it 4 days and said in another post that I had a kidney transplant and kidney docs always say if any change down there straight away go to doctors and have them checked out. I didn't want to say its to do with my kidney as I said that be for and they said your best off phoning hospital up where you have it checked out regularly, so I knew that wouldn't work and anything else I knew it wouldn't be that day.

Any way she made the appointment 1 hour later and said its only a female doctor is that ok. I said yes. I went in and said what the problem was and then she said take of trousers and pants and lay on the bed. 1st time having this done apart from stent taking out. That was embarrassing my penis just out in front of her. Is that normal?.


When I first registered as a patient at my local GP Practice after moving home to my present town, the receptionist was required to ask several questions. One was, "Have you had any surgical procedures? If so, you must tell me."

I had had three: 1. Glue ear. 2. Angioplasty to treat Intermittent Claudication. 3. Circumcision as an adult, to 'correct' the injury to my foreskin after genital abuse as a boy.

She was kindly and caring, and I will forever be grateful for her insight and sensitive understanding.



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