Visit to GP on Friday who didn't want to see me as I was a 'Rheumatology patient' !!!

from the moment I went it he prattled on about contacting rheumy clinic as he didn't 'know' what 'he' could do for me. Told him my symptoms and the burning feelings on my skin that I thought were from MTX last injection...he dismissed that as if I had taken MTX previously it would hardly be a side effect. He took routine tests and a blood test and told me that was 'all' he could do for me. Came away feeling I had wasted his time and a nuisance bearing in mind that this was the GP that took from Dec to May to diagnose my RA. So sad about it :(

22 Replies

  • Had this, I had to tellmine what ARava and Humira were! I found another GP in the practice specialised more in musculoskeletal skeletal and was brilliant! But often just ring the Rheumy helpline and tell them the GP has no idea!! It's the truth, he tells me to ring them all the time, and the good one only works two days!

  • Hi Allanah. Thank you for your reply. This GP had to look up what the side effects could be with MTX. I sat there and tried to tell him about it and he told me to shoosh.

    It is bad enough having to cope with this illness without being dismissed as wasting his time. Nobody in our practice knows anything about RA it is hit and miss who we get. I always get asked if I am 'coping'..I am not depressed more like fed up with condescending people. :( take care and thank you.

  • I've had this too - when one of the partners at my GP practice phoned me about something or other she took the opportunity to point out that anything RA - related was my Rheumatologist's preserve. I wasn't running to them with every little twinge so it wasn't as if I needed reigning in and anyway, it's hard to know what is & isn't to do with RA.

    However, in that phone call she had asked me how I was so I said I was having some headaches & wondered if they might be to do with mtx. Her reply: 'very unlikely - that's not something that happens with mtx.' I checked the list of side effects that comes with the tablets & 'headache' was top of the list. Maybe she was just trying to prove that she was not the woman for any RA stuff!

    I'm sure it's to do with cost of caring for patients with chronic conditions. Plus, like you, they did me no favours early on, should have referred me to Rheumatology much sooner & at first I felt as if they were treading on egg-shells with me, worried that I might complain. I wonder if, in some convoluted way, that's the explanation for your GP being so condescending?

    I think phoning the Rheumy helpline is the best idea. It's often a good service & easy to see why it's needed. Plus so many people who are ostensibly there to help are patronising & I'm trying to refine my technique for coping with them - polishing up my brass neck, basically! What happened, did you contact the clinic??

    All the best,

    Luce xx

  • Hi Luce thank you for your reply. I did get a phone call from my assigned RA nurse. She had a look at the bloods and feels there was some infection going on as my WBC and inflammation markers had gone up. She said that not all symptoms are to do with RA and the GP's should check all they can to rule out anything serious.

    I am afraid now I don't take any prisoners when people are condescending to me as it is my body and I know when something different is going on..and not all in my head either. I was right to go to the GP as there was something going on and the bloods have shown that. Wonder if he will phone and apologise ..oh..there is another pig flying in the sky...I have to take my MTX again tomorrow..if I feel the same way after that injection I have to phone the nurse and tell her immediately..the joys. take care xxxx

  • Hi I'm really glad that you received a phone call letting you know what is wrong with you,the worse thing is not knowing, At the end of the day you know your own body it really annoys me when i hear these stories on here, I am really lucky with my GP, not that she knows a lot and sometimes she has to look in her book, but she has never made me feel like that, Did you mention this to your Nurse ? x

  • Hello thank you for answering. I did tell my nurse that I felt I was wasting his time and she said that not every symptom is RA so needs checked out. As you say you know when things are different with your body. The fact that my bloods showed inflammation makes me feel better and that it wasn't 'imagined'. I phoned the surgery and got his remark..repeat bloods in 2 weeks. take care x

  • My GP isn't interested in my RA either.... I don't think they really know that much about it very often. Polly

  • Hi Polly. Feel it is so sad ..we didn't ask to feel rotten with the meds or how the RA affects us and it doesn't help if the GP is ignorant either. take care xxx

  • If its your GP that is doing your repeat prescriptions, then ask them if there is a shared care agreement in your file. If there isn't, ask them to chase up the rheumatology department and get a copy of it. That will tell them what they need to do if you have problems with meds, and at what stage they need to contact the rheumatologist.

    If you have a rheumatology nurse, then definitely use them as your first port of call for information or letting them know any difficulties. If you don't have a rheumatology nurse or can't easily get hold of them, then don't expect the GP to know anything - just tell them what is going on, and ask them if they will contact the rheumatologist and ask for advice for you.

  • Hi ...I saw the duty doctor for my appointment and not my own doc. All letters get sent to GP and the GP's write my scripts but get my mtx injections from pharmacy at hospital now. The RA nurse has answer machines so takes a couple of days for them to get back to you that is why I went to GP. So fed up :( Thank you for replying.x

  • Thats terrible, why because you have rheumatoid arthritis are you then dismissed by a gp!! Like as mentioned before not all our ailments are ra so we are entitled to go and see our gp.

    I would leave message for rheumy nurse and say you are in urgent need of a call back as your gp wouldnt help.

    Its times like this we feel like a number on an ra/gp list and not a person with a name and needs.

    Take care



  • So sorry you had this experience with your GP. They are paid far too much to be condescending and shoosh and patronise us.

    I am very lucky with mine. I saw him early today and handed him a sheet with pros and cons of coming off my meds plus some points and questions. He glanced through it and then spent the ten minute consultation examining my hand and explaining/ talking through my side effects with me. We decided on a plan of sorts (his sorts more than mine really). I felt I made a bit of an idiot of myself by typing up a sheet and gabbling away trying to convince him that I wanted to stop my meds completely. But then there are no counselors up here and I have no rheumy nurse so he and the other GP are the only ones I feel actually know what RA is and what taking these drugs involves. They write to the rheumy for me and monitor my bloods and prescribe my Metoject. So not all GPs are like yours - mine referred me straight away and is pretty knowledgable about the disease and the drugs. Is there anyway you could find a new practice perhaps?

    I have to inject tomorrow night and I dread it too so you are not alone. I hope you get no burning feet and no side effects this time. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda. You are lucky this GP is particularly a pain he seems to challenge everything you say and shooshes you when he is 'typing' up what you are seeing him about. He kept saying that it was really a RA clinic problem as he couldn't do anything for me..I just wanted him to put my mind at rest with these new symptoms.

    It has made me feel a real pest to the surgery now and today I am worried I am going to react and this time end up in hospital. :( take care Tilda xxx

  • That is so horrible I agree - I think you should really brazen it out though because you have RA and that's not anything they should brush off and also the disease and the drugs can have other health implications which touch on general practice. That's why it's called GENERAL and they should be generally interested in how you are doing in the widest sense as one of their patients. I know it's hard to stick up for what you know to be right when you are feeling vulnerable but as I get older I realise increasingly that putting up with the unacceptable lets everyone down, not just yourself. I think I'd be inclined to confront him - bullies usually become wet blankets if they are met with strong minds and the moral highground - which I would say you have. If you just can't face it then I would head for the hospital if you're really worried still. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda. Thank you for your support. It is annoying that he has made me feel like this. I told the receptionist yesterday that I was not happy and was made to feel that I wasted his time :( she didn't say anything of course.

    I feel very let down by it all..yes I am a RA patient but as you say I was worried about some other underlying things going on...glad the bloods showed 'it was not all in my mind ' Norm is working from home as I am so worried about it all :( take care xxx

  • Everything I go to see my GP about seems to be down to RA. i saw a new GP last week about the loss of smell and taste and she asked whether I was on one of the 'poisonous' drugs, I asked whether she meant biological drugs and she said ' yes they are poison' !!! She then said its all down to RA and to see my consultant. Luckily enough I see him next week. Being as although I have been on Enbrel for five years, and to be honest I dont like being on it, it wasn't great to hear a GP say that.

  • Hello. That was a terrible thing to say to you. I am very disillusioned by it all. We didn't choose to have this illness and need support not be dismissed.

    Take care x

  • I have to admit I have had RA for 25 years and this is the first time a GP has been so rude. Normally I am told to ask for whatever I need as I know my disease better than they do !! I dont have a lot of faith in my Rheumy as he just dismisses anything I say but hey I can walk at the moment so I should be grateful.

  • Ha, you know you are on to a loser when your GP starts Googling during your visit! Really, some I see are great, some not so. Most of the GPs at my ;local practice are really good, no complaints. you just learn who to avoid. x

  • Hello thank you for answering. Afraid this guy looks the part but to shoosh me when I know what my symptoms are usually is not on. I told the receptionist that I was not impressed...but they obviously can't mention their views. Feel now when I will phone up I will have a 'black' mark against my name..oh not her again. :( x

  • Stuff that you just tell yourself that black mark is actually a gold star for withstanding bully boy tactics of the GP and staff then! And as for Fossil's GP - words fail me??? X

  • I have to say that the more that I read on this one makes me feel that I am so lucky to have the GP practice that I have. They are more than happy to discuss my RA issues and will help wherever they can including asking my RA consultant to see my sooner when I need to.

    Note to,self: make sure that I tell then next time I go!

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