Monday, January 3, 2011

My View of A GP

My view of a GP, not my view AS a GP. :p

Before my enrollment into medical course, a GP was almost everything. I mean, whenever I say "doctor", I am imagining a GP. Whenever I ask anyone to seek treatment from a doctor, I meant seeing a GP.

But after almost 2 years being a medical student and exposed to the field (although I admit I've saw only the tip of the iceberg), I got to know that not everyone goes to a GP. A lot of people who have the capital, chose to go for a specialist instead. In fact, just for a vaccination, parents spent a lot to see a paediatrician! A specialist consultation fee is really not something I will willingly spend unnecessarily.

But, I also got to know that most GP choose the simplest disease as their first diagnosis. Thus, they will advise the patient to come again after a week if the patient do not get any better. And they will give the commonest medicine, Paracetamol, Loratadine and Benadryl for headaches, flu and cough respectively. After all, those three are the commonest causes of a doctor visit. Or else, come with a rash, they might give anti-fungal etc. The bottom line is, a GP treats easy cases, not the really complicated ones. Perhaps that's one of the reason 1Malaysia clinic, managed by a medical assistant and a nurse can be set up.

But, to get things straight, it is not fair for me to accuse all GPs like that. After all, they have underwent the 5 excruciating, sleep-lack, eye-bags years to get the degree, even more if they graduated from India, and went through the 2/3 yrs of compulsory housemanship with the government to be where they are now. To say they are not trustworthy and take patients' conditions lightly will be a form of cruelty too.

My mother is now suffering from reduced movement of her shoulder. One of her student's father who so happened to be an orthopaedician told her after some chat, that she is having a condition called "frozen shoulder". And I read some articles on the condition. It was written that an aspirin could give relieve since it is anti-inflammatory. Seeing her unable to move her hand freely upsets me, and I really wanted to ask her to go see a doctor but, her appointment with a government specialist has been set to be a few months from now. She will not be willing to spend to see a private specialist thus the only choice left is a private GP. And that got me into thinking, "what exactly can a GP do for her?". Of course, the GP can give aspirin, but that is only a temporary relief. What happens next?

I am writing this because I will be starting my GP posting tomorrow, Monday 3rd Jan 2011. I will be in a private clinic with a private GP, and observe his work and at the same time learn some skills. I hope I will be able to learn more about GP and perhaps give me a clearer idea of what they do. And thus perhaps, write a fairer article. This post is kinda unfair, as I am speaking for the perspective of a half-cooked doctor and a stingy patient.

Someone whom I know have been in the medical line for more than half of her life told me that a GP needs more communication skills, good rapport and sweet mouth rather than real knowledge.
Those are very frustrating to hear. Aren't they?

But a specialist is no angel either.
Another neurologist I know, is perhaps one of the wicked real life doctor (House is just another wicked but genius doctor) I've ever known.
She refuses to let her patients know the name of the medicine they are prescribed. All the medicines are put in the while plastic without any labeling of the medicine, just her clinic name, patient's name and instructions on how to take the medicine.
She wants her patient to come back to her for the medicine instead of buying the medicine at the pharmacy.
And when pressed for the medicine name, she even gave a different name! According to her own staff, she will give the name that pharmacist can't recognise.
And she really is living luxuriously now, with her husband pracitising medicine in another country.

I wonder, if she has been sincere all these time?

But whenever I tried to arise this matter of insincerity to some of the adults I know, I was accused to be naive, do-not-know-how-to-live-in-the-world yet, and have-not-seen-the-world-yet.

But anyway of course, we shall never do generalisation.
Not all GPs give the simplest diagnosis and medicine, and not all specialists are angel nor money-minded.
Most importantly, all doctors are human.
And I'm gonna pass out as a GP before going into any specialisation. So, I gotta have a good and happy view of my own future career, heh... Amin.


Monday, 3rd Jan 2011



  1. It seems to me that when you wonder about bad practices such as forcing patients to become relient on you for financial gain, and dangerous and highly unethical things such as giving the wrong name for some pharmacetical drugs, to be met with the speil of "this is the real world honey", suggests that the pad practices are endemic.

    Please, don't lower your standards to this level. The money it can get is nice, but it's tainted money and will bear some cost after this dhunya. there are loads of things one can do to get money and trick oneself into thinking "waah, it's ok, not that bad"

    Don't worry, I know there are good decent docs out there. I just want to encourage you to be one of the goodies.


    P.S. "This post is kinda unfair, as I am speaking for the perspective of a half-cooked doctor and a stingy patient." Hahahahah. :D

  2. babe. i nk tukar profession lah pas ni. jual goreng pisang area umah i.
    lagi mahsyuk and menjamin masa depan.
    and best part i have time flexiblity. can open gerai when i like. heee

  3. @intechem.

    Thank you for the advise. :)
    I hope when the time comes, I'll not be blinded by the easy money, insyaAllah.

    It should actually be "...speaking FROM the perspective of..." Hahaha.. Typo there, but anyway I'm sure you know the meaning. Hahaha..

    Lorh.. Then Malaysia will be losing one potentially brilliant drug dealer (read pharmacist). Hahaha.. Mana blh open gerai whenever u want, nti customer lari...