• Question: Do you ever not know what treatment to give a patient?

    Asked by EllieFogg_1103 to Adil, Amanda, Gail, Jamie, Jo & Lucy, Nicola, Philly, Tuxford on 7 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Jo & Lucy Arthurs / Clayton

      Jo & Lucy Arthurs / Clayton answered on 7 Mar 2018:

      Yes, all the time! In GP we often deal with a lot of uncertainty. Using time to help with management of patients often really helps – things develop over time and you get new clues as to what’s going on.
      We also have lots of guidelines to help us and a book which contains lots of information about medications to help us – as you can’t remember everything!

    • Photo: Jamie Hynes

      Jamie Hynes answered on 7 Mar 2018:

      Sharing uncertainty is a key part of the job and this leads to a conversation where we and the patient try to work out what’s the best option to suit the patient and their circumstances. One medication could cause a problem for one of their other conditions or one of their other medications!
      They say our expertise starts where the official guidelines end…! It keeps the job interesting- where’s the fun in knowing everything?

    • Photo: Gail Allsopp

      Gail Allsopp answered on 7 Mar 2018:

      I teach GPs at a national level so am as up to date as I can be with treatments and approaches. The most common problem is I know what treatment to give but don’t have the facility in primary care to do it. That’s why we have specialists in hospitals. When we can’t treat a patient, we send them I Hospital!

    • Photo: Amanda Henchliffe

      Amanda Henchliffe answered on 9 Mar 2018:

      Yes, sometimes the diagnosis is not straight forward or obvious. I would always rather be honest with patients and say I don’t know I need to ask a man( /woman) who can!!

    • Photo: Adil Rashid

      Adil Rashid answered on 9 Mar 2018:

      There can be lots of situations where doctors are not sure which is the best treatment to give. In these cases, doctors can get help from their seniors. Often treatments will be started that don’t always work at first (but that’s not always a bad thing because you as long as you spot it you try another treatment).

    • Photo: Philippa Horner

      Philippa Horner answered on 14 Mar 2018:

      All the time! That’s the beauty of working in a team and the charm of a job that continuously challenges you. With experience, you will grow in confidence managing the conditions you see more often. But of course you will sometimes be faced with things that are rare or outside your remit, and that’s when you speak to colleagues and ask for help!