Thyroid UK
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Does this sound familiar?

Does this sound familiar?

I feel let down. I was given a diagnosis without any explanation of the life-long implications. I was prescribed life-long medication without any discussion of side-effects or alternatives. I was given no information of where to turn for support, not even a single sheet of written information.

The quote above is from a 'patient case study', and could so easily have been from one of us on this support group. Except that it isn't actually about thyroid disease. The point here though is not the health problem itself, but that this is quoted from a story about a GP who became ill and saw life from the other side of the surgery desk.

The article concludes with

My GP was the only obvious place to turn for advice and I am a GP, so what chance does the average patient have?

Surely we need a better system of informing patients. Perhaps my experience has been unique, but I doubt it.

You can read the full article here:

Case Study - From GP to patient

31 March 2011

This GP thought he understood the impact that illness had on patients, until he became a patient himself.

13 Replies

Yes that is exactly how I would have described my diagnosis and treatment from my gp (who I have a lot of respect for). I wonder if the GP that wrote this now reflects on how he treated his own patients and their needs. I haven't read the article.


Oh I feel sure he did, at least for a while anyway. It certainly echoes my diagnosis experience, and from what we see here, many others too.

In these days of easy desktop printing (my GP has a b/w laser printer on his desk), it doesn't seem unreasonable for a GP to be able to press a button and print a sheet of info to hand to the patient alongside their first levo prescription. Might not cover everything, but would be a start and better than nothing.


It was one of my complaints to the hospital (amongst many other things) that there was no information whatsoever in the clinic about the thyroid condition other than thyroid eye disease. I was told that there was no need as the little white pill sorts everything out and anything remaining is another condition. I said that a help group would be helpful to which I was told there was no need and no one had every expressed an interest before (ie you are just being stupid).


In my surgery waiting room, there are several notice boards with posters about various diseases, and leaflets etc on a table. Never has there been anything remotely connected to thyroid issues. And when I took in some TUK posters for them to put up, I was told by the receptionist that she would have to get permission to put them up. I was very naive about it all at the time, and looked eagerly at the notice boards each time I went in. But the posters never appeared. It was as if the very existence of thyroid disease was being 'covered up'.


me too. My GP is wonderful but after three years of hypo.thyroid I realise he knows less than me. (thanks to you guys.) In fact last visit he admitted he" has thrown in the towel." and referred me. As for notices and leaflets,same here.


Welcome to the real world I say - but think what it is like for those without inside knowledge a network of colleagues, and unable to pull rank as he could. So despite what he may think he had a better deal than us plebs.

When we get accused of questioning I think it should be thrown back at them and say "if you were the patient, would you blindly accept lifelong treatment etc etc" . I use this technique all the time and it either stumps them or I detect slight nods of agreement. Then I'm given the information I want! Be not afraid!

Can we register and post comments?


great tip, I like this and will use it


Must remember to use this next time I meet a stonewaller doctor. Also, it is surely the duty of the patient to be well informed on his/her illness and to take some responsibility for their own health.


I was diagnosed at 19 and told all you do is take a pill. That was it.


yep, and my attempt at a poster was a disaster, a long time ago. I've not been to the GP lately, one thing is why take my blood, x-rays, nerve conduction tests, ECG - all not quite normal, see a nerve specialist, physio etc. but ignore the results? as it will get better on it's own (I want my half a thyroid back!) - I seem to be ranting, sorry.

Meanwhile vit D helps, bring on the sunshine! J x


Yup, I could have written that statement.


Hi, exactly the same for me, l found out that it was auto immunne when l went to see a dermatologist reguarding vitiligo gp did,nt tell me don,t even know what that first b/tests revealed, just told to take the levo, like the blog says what hope is there!!!!!


me too.

The trouble I find is, if you dont ask they dont say. If you do ask and show even a slight hint you are medcially aware then the Drs turn patronising.

While I feel sorry for what the GP in this post went through on another side Im glad he got to see how bad it can be for us general public. Sad thing is I doubt it would change anything.

As for the discussion around the bed. The worst one I sat mortified through, was while I was in an elderly lady was brought into the ward from A&E in theevening. Her Consultant's registar appeared roughly about 9pm, afer visting hours and the ladys relatives had all gone home. Walked upto her bed and announced very clear and loudly, she had cancer and then walked off. To say we were all shocked was an understatement. I watched this poor woman as he did it. She just sat there stunned and then began to shake as tears poured down. I ripped my iv out of the wall and rushed over to her while the other lady who could move rushed off to find a nurse.

In came the nurse who took one look at us all, stormed off, came back with another nurse who began telling us off for being nusiances. There was a little, I mean tiny old lady next to my bed, her voice was so soft and quiet. Until she boomed and in language that you don't expect to come forth from such a sweet old dear. Enough to say, both nurses rushed off, a Sister came in, she went out and yelled at those nurses, including I should fire you both on the spot for this. YOU are nurses, YOU are supposed to care & show compassion. Now off my ward, YOU'RE on suspension pending enquiry into your lax & callous attitudes to nursing & patients. She then came back in to us, and apologised and said she was calling for the ladys relatives as this was a time they need to be here.

In the morning the Registar came in on his rounds, to find a sea of hostile faces and a the Night Sister, who balled him out on the spot for what he had done. He just stood there and said have yu finished Sister I have rounds to do not dally here listening to you. A voice popped up, but you do have to listen to mine. In Sisters office now. One Consultant not very happy at all. Even though he shut the door to the office we all heard what he was saying very loudly. One very red faced Registar offered his apologies and left, one Consultant apologising too, to all of us and more importantly offered to have a talk about it all to the poor shellshocked lady in a private room. She declined and said, they all know, they should hear the rest too. Which he did. Sadly to say she died later that night. The family thanked us for doing what we did.

Too many times you hear the ward Drs discussing patients either loudly or worse still as if the patient isnt sat there. Come nightime you get to hear all about the sordid tales of what nightshift nurses have got up to, loudly. Then they wonder why they have wards of grumpy patients.

Think the worse one for me, personally was sititng in the supply station, when my abdominal surgery scar ( day 10) opened up. I had to sit there until the a certain nurse was on back on the ward. She was otherwise detained on her tea break. Said nurse was having loud sex just outside the window to the room I was in with a certain named gent. All I can say was thats one funny tea break. When she did appear, she claimed she was late as she had to transfer another patient over to another ward. In came the Dr to see what had happend to my surgical scar. He aplogised for being late as he was overseeing the theatre. I said, funny that, I didnt know the theatre and ward was just outside this very rooms window where you both have been having VERY LOUD SEX. I'm sure somebody turned on a red light it for the glow was reflected very brightly on their faces.

Wish they had a point scoring card you could mark your Drs& nurses up on. Then they might take notice that their bed side manners are missing alongside compassion and caring and decency.


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