Doctors CAN be good !

I was both horrified and tickled by Markbenjamin's experiences with his GP (that is - horrified by your experience and tickled by your letter template, Mark). There have been many posts about GP's not understanding our condition and not knowing how to taper, let alone have a sympathetic ear. I would like to redress the balance a little by saying that my own experience is entirely different.

I live in beautiful North Yorkshire and my GP diagnosed me on my first visit purely from my symptoms (later confirmed by blood tests etc). During each of my monthly visits since, he has been kind, sympathetic and, most importantly, knowledgeable. Under his instructions I am gently tapering, always with the proviso that I know my own body and if I experience pain/symptoms I can increase my dosage. He is in no rush to get me off Pred as so many are, it seems. I am currently having a flare (possibly down to the stress of family problems - looking for a good nursing home for my 90 year old father who lives 3 hours away) but my GP is a good listener and has offered good advice.

I wish you all could have such good treatment. I await a stampede to the lovely Yorkshire Dales!

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  • Hi,

    So agree, there are some very good GPs out there, and maybe don't get as much credit as they should. And of course it's human nature to complain about the others.......

    Plus in some parts of the country it's a more relaxed way of life (Yorkshire Dales & Dorset for example) than in a busy city centre and that's reflected in the doctors surgery as well. Some doctors must feel sometimes it's like working on a conveyor belt - not good for human interaction!

    We are both lucky to live where we do!

  • Yes, I agree. Having previously lived in the West Midlands I appreciate the slower way of life - and being able to get doctors appointments relatively easily. We are indeed lucky.

  • Greetings Maxx57 :-)

    Thanks for your post and lovely comments. Well, I am known around here for providing some entertainment (allegedly) on The Lighter Side of all things PMR! ;-)

    You've reminded me about a well-known phenomenon, in the Business world at least, around Consumer Behaviour. Research suggests that, typically, unhappy Customers are more vocal about their experiences than satisfied ones. The ratio can be as great as 3:1 in some sectors. Similar research has also found that unhappy Customers also often migrate from a Service Provider to a new one, rather than complain (very few consumers actually enjoy what can be a confrontational and stressful process!).

    It could be the same here, where people have an outlet to let-off steam about their trials and tribulations with GPs, Rheumies etc - and want a bit of moral support / reassurance as much as anything else. Some of these reported experiences (like my recent one) with GPs can leave you wondering if you are in fact 'losing the plot'!

    That said, and as PMRpro suggested recently in another post, this excellent forum tends to be populated by PMR / GCA sufferers who have either just started or are still on the Journey, as opposed to those who've successfully recovered and strolled off into the sunset (and / or who don't have issues-with their medics). So, the perception that so many GPs don't know their stuff and / or have a good Bedside Manner might appear a bit skewed in context...

    Either way, yes, it's good to hear about the other side of this coin - positive experiences like yours, with supportive, knowledgeable medics who give their Patients confidence and reassurance.

    Your GP sounds like one of the Best - I can see the traffic queues on the M6 North already! ;-)

    MB :-)

  • M1, A1M, turn left!!

    Yes, bad news, bad reviews, bad anything will always get more press. Hope you get everything sorted satisfactorily your end and look forward to reading more on The Lighter Side...

  • Ah, yes! Thanks Maxx :-)

  • Hi,

    No wonder I went for Elvis Presley with your sense of direction!

    I know you like to lead us up the garden path, but really........πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

  • My thoughts exactly I’m on my way. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Mark.

    How far would travel for a Doctor like that. πŸ™„πŸ˜œπŸ‘πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • I am with you on the statistics of complaints versus praise. I owned three stores and if my employees made an error in math and they were charged more...the results were quickly brought to my attention. If the reverse happened...not a word !! It was never big amounts but did reveal to me that aspect of human nature.

  • 🌈

  • Oh yes - couldn't agree more. There are good ones and we do say when we have nice ones!

    Whereabouts in the Dales? Are you bringing Dad to you or are leaving him in the region he is now? My daughter is a paramedic in Whitby - and they are the people to ask about the reputation of retirement homes!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sadly we have to look for a home near where he is now as I have a step-mother to consider too. I would love to have him near to us - thank you for the thought, though.

    Actually, we live in a small village between the Dales and the Moors so we're doubly lucky!

  • And a daughter working in a Neonatal Unit PMRpro?

  • Most of the time - and hoping for a permanent post so fingers are crossed!

  • I love working in NNU (when I'm working!..). The babies are so cute. I put weeny stoma bags on their tummies. I hope your daughter gets a permanent post soon. I'll keep my fingers crossed for her.🀞🏻

  • I did a research project in NNU many years ago. Was probably the only place I could be a nurse in - even with the desperately ill ones.

  • He sounds wonderful Maxx57. There is something about awareness of this relatively rare disease too. My son in law is a GP and because of me he has spotted it in patients and hopefully shows understanding. I think if they have personal experience of the disease or someone close to them has things are much better for subsequent patients. Mind you, yours sounds like good old fashioned family doctor. The pressures GPs are put under these days makes it very hard for them to operate like that. I have observed kind, understanding ones in my GP Practice burn out and change over the years.

  • He's relatively young, I really hope he doesn't change. I think perhaps some of the earlier comments re inner city pressure versus country/rural practices may be true. Either way I really appreciate him.

  • I also was lucky to get diagnosed the first visit and verified by blood tests.She also spent an hour with me and printed information on PMR from Mayo Clinic.Very lucky because in the States that is not the norm.She also lets me follow the tapering you have suggested which has really helped.😊

  • We are very lucky, aren't we? I have an American friend who has many health issues and her medical treatment is a constant worry.

  • Is it something about Yorkshire? I live in West Yorkshire and my GP is more than happy to listen to me and discuss best ways of dealing with PMR. He did express some very slight concern about "paying too much attention to websites" but hasn't mentioned it since. He leaves my gradual reduction of the dreaded steroids down to me but is happy to offer help whenever asked. Add to that he's considerably younger then me so chances are I'll have gone before he does!!! Result.

  • Nice one!

  • One of the best studies I have seen about PMR was done by Helen Twohig, a GP near Sheffield, and others also from Sheffield and Keele (I think): I suddenly felt I'd aged

    There are people with PMR/GCA who go to medical schools and talk to student doctors about it - I suspect the rheumatology specialists but it might be juniors too. I know one who does it a James Cook in Middlesborough. And it is paying off - the younger ones are showing more common sense about it when they understand how disabling and painful it can be.

  • That's good news (especially since James Cook is one of the nearer hospitals to me!)

  • Are you in contact with the NE support group?

  • No..... I didn't know there was one but I'll seek out details. Thank you.


    There is a meeting tomorrow at 1.30pm at the Marton Hotel and Country Club in Middlesborough

  • Thanks very much for the info :)

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