Arlene and two adopted dogs.

Just a blog from someone who loves to communicate with other dog owners

A couple of little grumbles


I was reading the newspaper the other day and there was an article on to-day’s doctors. It struck a cord with me having had a bit more to do with doctors in the past couple of years, than the previous 50 as far as I can gather. The author was commenting about the more cavalier attitude and changes from yesteryear  in the medical profession.

He, like me can remember a time when a visit to the doctor was a case of trotting down to the local surgery, walking in, taking a seat and waiting your turn.  For my case I’m talking about the late forties to the mid sixties. I recall our local surgery was not much bigger than the average bathroom, with a bench down one side and the rest was standing room only, even outside weather permitting. There was a little old lady called Maggie who went to a metal case as soon as you went in, pulled out your file and gave it to you, with a cheery hello how’s the rest of the family, I was fascinated by her extremely bowed legs [I was very young] which were obviously the result of rickets.

Our Doctor was called Doctor Salmon and I was with him right up until I moved from Scotland and moved to England. OK in these days, few people had phones, so we couldn’t make appointments, home visits were much more common as most didn’t have transport if we were too poorly to get a bus.

How different nowadays, some surgeries won’t let you make appointments ‘over the counter’ and you must phone, when you do, you get the usual menus, when you do get to speak to a person, they offer you something about 4 – 5 hence,and ask you which doctor you’d like to see, we have seven in our practice,  and then have the cheek to ask you what the problem is. I even read that some patients have been ‘blacklisted’ for being problematic. One woman being ejected because her child was crying in surgery.

There are about  ten receptionists/secretaries behind the screen, plus about three nurses, so  it’s no wonder that parking is a problem. with half the spaces allocated to staff, the only alternative to parking on the 1 hour street zone, is using the local supermarket next door.

I have never seen a doctor at the time of the appointment usually half to three quarters of an hour later, and because they are running late, haven’t got the time to listen.

The author of the piece makes reference to the ‘gangster moll like receptionists’ also strikes a chord, but I may save that for another day.

you can read the article in the Sunday Express /From the editor/ Martin Townsend.

There I feel better now.

The last time I went, my doctor, only the other week, he had one eye on the computer and I’m sure one on the clock. I came away feeling distinctly let down, as I don’t think he really understood why I was there.

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Sheila and of course Wile-e, thanks for calling back to me. comments above pretty much sum up my reply to you. hugs to both {{0}}

  2. CatsRuS

    I remember the days when the doctor would come to visit us when we lived in Richmond, Surrey, I seem to remember having measles or something and our bedroom was kept quite dark. Those were the good old days.

    I know what you mean about today’s doctors. Most, I think are in it for the money. I did however eventually get lucky and now have a great doctor in Crescent Beach. He has his own private little practice in an old house he bought in the village and although he’s usually running late, he’s very attentive and thorough and listens to what I have to say. The receptionists aren’t bad either. The only problem though with him is he’s usually booked right up 2 weeks in advance and if it’s rather urgent like an infection that needs treatment right away for example, I have to go to a walk in clinic where it’s rather impersonal. So still not quite like the good old days really.

    • Hi Robyn, nice to see you , loved the hat. 🙂
      i can’t recall having measles, but one of my girls did, and the other had chicken pox, and recall the bedroom had to be darkened. and the doctor visited, we hadn’t been in England long [from Scotland] and the doctors we had were good, husband and wife team, shame we had to move.The service has definitely gone downhill.

  3. It seems to be happening worldwide Arlene, I’ve shared similar experiences here…

    • More’s the pity Lady Jude.

  4. Oh yes…I know that feeling all too well too…I have never actually seen my own Dr since I registered at the surgery and the receptionists are just horrible! I did enjoy your account of how things used to be…nobody really seems to care in that profession anymore…Wolfie hugs…and a hopeful sniff around the freezer for a few remaining cup cakes!!! 🙂

    • Hi Wolfie, this was one of the points I was getting at, the lack of continuity, the popular doctors have a much longer waiting time for an appointment, unfortunately.
      Cup cakes are still sitting in the freezer as I knocked up a fruit cake as some of the family were coming, and a dozen cup cakes wouldn’t go very far. But be quick.

  5. I hate visiting my local family Medial Practice.. Arlene, I never see the same Doctor so there’s no continuity , and as you say, it’s all timed and you feel hurried along… It just seems that it’s all dehumanized with a time slot mentality which doesn’t cope with people who need a friendly and thorough discussion about what ails them. … I suppose it’s more like a business now with so many more patients to see, and less time for the ‘friendly and caring’ side of things. As Sheila mentioned, I hope your shoulders getting better, … hugs galore to you, Tango and Ruby Tuesday… xPenx

    • Hi Pen, as I said to Wolfie, lack of continuity, means you and the doctor don’t get the chance to build up a rapport. I agree it is most definitely ‘a business’
      My shoulder’s not much better really, pain killers are allowing me to carry on quite well though.
      Tango and Ruby are being very good, I think they know Mum’s not a happy bunny some days. they still have hugs to spare for there friends. XXX

  6. Yes I know what you mean Arlene I felt let down a few years ago by my doc.That doc retired soon afterwards. Good post hope you are feeling well and the shoulder isn’t giving you amymore problems. Hugs Sheila and Wile-e xx

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