What Makes a Good General Practitioner?

In a person’s life, there will be some individuals who hold a special and significant place. It might be their parents, significant other, their child, or even a best friend. But there is one other person who plays a major role in everyone’s life but is often overlooked – the GP. Yes, your general practitioner is a crucial part of your life. Ideally, your GP should know about all your health concerns and be able to guide you through life, helping you function at your best, given your health situation. But when the GP-Patient relationship is not well established, it could lead to a series of complications, from miscommunication to delayed diagnosis of potential health risks. So, how does one ensure that their GP is doing his/her best to keep them in good health? Well, the first step is to get a better understanding of how GPs work.

Patient-centric Approach

Moreland General Practice (Moreland GP) case study tells that GP’s approach should be patient-centric, with their attention to the patient’s health issues and any other signs or symptoms that the patient might exhibit or talk about. The primary goal for a GP is to relieve the patient of their pain/allergy/disease/condition through medicine, dietary recommendations and any other means that they see fit.

Identify Underlying Health Issues

Another critical role that a good GP plays is to act as a medical detective of sorts. Many times, when a patient visits the GP when there is some health issue, be it back pain, muscle strain or some rashes on the skin, the problem could be much bigger than what it appears to be. It is the GP’s responsibility to find out the underlying source of the problem. They need to delve a little deeper, asking the patient questions about their lifestyle and habits, to see what could be causing the problem. What appears to be a simple rash could be an allergy caused by something that the patient is exposed to on a regular basis. Finding out the allergen and ensuring that the patient limits or eliminates exposure to it will be the long-term solution to the problem, as opposed to only prescribing medications and topical treatments to treat the rashes. Similarly, a back ache could be a sign of bad posture. Talking to the patient about their work, how they sit at their desk while working and advising them on improving their position and ways to do that could help the patient overcome their chronic back ache.

The GP-Patient Relationship

Your relationship with your GP could go a long way in determining your health. If you make regular visits to your GP, keeping them updated on the status of your health and letting them know if there have been any significant changes in your body, the GP will have a better idea of your overall health. And if your health takes a turn for the worse, the GP will be able to identify the problem much quicker (since he had a real idea of your health history). It is the patient’s responsibility to follow their GP’s orders diligently if they want to keep their health in check. When patients don’t finish their antibiotic cycle because they feel better or wait until the last minute to see the GP (allowing their illness to fester and get worse), they are making things difficult for both themselves and their GP.

When you go to a GP, what you can expect is one-on-one care. The GP will look into not just your current health concern, but also take a look at your health history to get a clearer picture of you as a patient. The more information they have, the better it is for them to diagnose and treat an illness. So, patients need to be forthcoming and talk to their GP about any relevant health concerns that they have. Patients can get quicker and better treatment when they can work with their GP, providing them with information about their lifestyle, eating habits, and overall health.

 

What will help is a change in attitude? Most people avoid going to the GP as much as they can. Instead of fearing a visit to the GP, why not look at it as your responsibility to ensure that you stay in good health. Why wait for things to get worse before making that visit? Treating an ailment as early as possible can go a long way in curing it effectively and in a shorter time frame. Your GP should be one of those important people in your life. After all, they are there to keep you in good health, and that is very important if you want to lead a happy life.

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Posted by: Jason Lee on

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