Does having a good hunch make you a good doctor or are we all so tick-box trained that we have lost that art. Why is it then that House MD is so popular when the story line is around the “hunch” of Doctor House?
Fortunately for my friend, her GP (family physician) has managed to keep that ability.
My friend was blessed with good health all her life. She seldom sees her GP so just before last Christmas she turned up because she has been having this funny headache that the usual OTC pain killers would not shift.
She would not have gone to the doctor except the extended family was going on a skiing holiday.
She managed to get to the surgery before they close. The receptionist told her that the doctor was about to leave. She was about to get an appointment for after Christmas when her doctor came out and was surprised to see my friend.
I have always told my juniors to be on the look out for situations like this. Life is strange. Such last minute situations always seem to bring in surprises. One should always be on the look out for what patient reveal to you as a “perhaps it is not important”.
Also any patient that you have not seen for a long time deserves a thorough examination.
She was seen immediately.
So no quick prescription of a stronger pain killer and no “have a nice holiday” then.
She took a careful history and did a quick examination including a thorough neurological examination.
Then something strange happened. Looking back now, I did wonder if she had spent sometime at a Neuroligical Unit.
She asked my friend to count backwards from 100.
My friend could not manage at 67.
She was admitted to a regional neurological unit. A scan showed that she had a left parietal glioma. She still remembered being seen by the neurosurgeon after her scan at 11 at night:
“We are taking it out in the morning!”
The skiing was cancelled but what a story.
Enough is enough:
"Let us go back to the old discipline of the NHS. Let the professionals manage medicine, empower the professionals, the doctors and nurses and shove the internal market in the bin and screw down the lid. .........please let us hear from all political parties that they will ditch this absurd love-affair with the internal market. Instead let them help the NHS do what it does best — treat patients, and do so efficiently and economically without the crucifying expense and ridiculous parody of competition." Prof. Waxman in an earlier post
Best cancer care: NHS GP & NHS Specialist