Waiting room musings, Part 1

Waiting room musings, Part 1

If I would get paid for all the time I spend sitting in my doctors’ waiting rooms, I would not be rich, but well-off. But it is enough for another category in my blog.

Today I went to my husband’s general practitioner to get a presciption. The waiting room was full of people. Sadly, this is normal for all GP’s here. And not just in the winter, when colds and flu go about.

In my GP’s surgery, they stopped making appointments, because they have too many patients that come in unannounced and need treatment. Falling ill follows no schedule. I think it is better to be honest, and not to waste precious time with arranging worthless time slots.

I am very lucky to have found my GP. She is an internist and experienced in treating failing thyroids (I have Hahimoto’s Thyroiditis, my immune system destroys my thyroid), and diabetes (Type 2, in my case). If she is not sure, she does not hesitate to say so and refers me to a specialised colleague. She is aware of all my medication, and knows about possible interactions and side effects. The stuff working in the surgery is very friendly and competent, in spite of their workload.

And sometimes things go wrong. Last time, I wanted to boost my tetanus/diphteria vaccination. My GP told her assistant what to do, I got vaccinated, left, took a look at my vaccination certificate – and realized that I got a flu shot. The problem? I had already been given a flu shot a few weeks ago. When I arrived home, I immediatly called the doctor’s office. I was half angry, half scared because of possible side effects. The doctor appologized for the mistake and calmed me down: A double flu shot probably wouldn’t cause any problems.

She was right. If I wouldn’t have checked my vaccination certificate, I wouldn’t have noticed the error. But I would have assumed to be protected against tetanus, and this can be important in case of an injury. We all were lucky nothing really bad happened.

I do not blame my doctor’s assistant. In fact, I am very surprised things like this happen so rarely in german GP surgeries.

Especially here in rural Germany, the number of GP surgeries will go down in the next years. On the other hand, there will be more and more old people that need to be taken care of. And old people have to see a doctor more often than younger, healthier people. But the worst thing is, these facts are not new. They have been known for years, and still nothing is done about it.

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