Dr Suresh is a GP and skin cancer doctor in Brisbane, and patients can book with him at this link

As I sit here writing this, pondering the almost infinite meanings the above title could conjure, I feel, well, actually I feel a little naughty. You probably think there’s something sinister and serious behind this post. Well thankfully there isn’t, but I do have a very painful nose. I have a condition called Nasal Vestibulitis. Inflammation of the end of the nose. This may not seem like much, but to anyone who has suffered from this, well you know how painful it can be.

Ok so who cares about my nose? Well suffering with this and knowing it’ll likely get worse and very often associated with infections, I needed to see a GP. Although technically I am allowed to prescribe for myself (with the exception of certain drugs), it’s not good practice and is frowned upon. Not wanting to take any time off work, I booked myself in with a colleague in the same practice, who dutifully assessed me, came to the same conclusion and provided me the prescription they felt was appropriate.

Now for some reason, even though completely unrelated, this reminded me of a recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia. This article was about suicide in the medical profession, which unfortunately is a very real issue that has been brushed under the carpet for far too long. The medical professions dirty little secret if you will.

Thankfully I’m not suicidal. I am not suffering from any mental health illness. But what if I was? Who would I turn to? Honestly I don’t know.

I do not have my own GP. There I said it. I just do not have a regular doctor that I can call ‘mine’.

I should, but like most of us I have my reasons (or are they excuses?)

‘I’m too busy’. ‘I’ll miss too much work’. ‘I don’t need one’. ‘I’m not sick right now’.

But what do we do then when we get sick? Who do we go to? Who will be there to help us when we need them? Do we just chose any GP we can find? Or is it better to cultivate a long term therapeutic relationship with a particular doctor? Both are probably valid at times, and certainly mainly Australians (where I practice) seem to have this approach, but I would encourage anyone who reads this to think about finding that doctor that they can grow with, who they can cultivate that long term doctor-patient relationship with, because the evidence shows that this contributes to good health outcomes.

However it dawns on me, as a doctor, I really should follow my own advice and find myself a good GP.

Any volunteers?

Dr Suresh is a GP and skin cancer doctor in Brisbane, and patients can book with him at this link

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