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“You trying to tell me my job?”

In this story about a couple’s struggle to get the husband correctly diagnosed on the NHS and their subsequent fruitless attempts to get the necessary medication for him, you can spot their one mistake that led to their desperate situation. Here it is:
“I did ask [the GP] if it was dementia, but we were just told Dave was too young, he was only 54.” However, the private consultation revealed it was just that.
Why didn’t someone warn them? You never, ever tell a GP what you think might be wrong. One slip—“I think my arm might be broken”, “This feels like the last time I had tonsillitis”—and you’ll see the sudden flash in their eyes, the one that says, ”Did you spend seven years qualifying? Did you have dreams of being a consultant only to watch them dissolve before your eyes? Then I’ll thank you to keep your medical bloody opinions to your unqualified bloody self.” And from there on in you’re doomed:
“Really, doctor, it feels a lot like I’ve fractured my collarbone.”
[Pause.] “You’ve got a virus, that’s all. I can’t give you anything for it, but it should be gone in a week or two. Plenty of hot drinks. Next!”
No wonder Dave went misdiagnosed and untreated. It’s a warning for us all.

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December 2015
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