The life of a GP is a varied one. Our friendly local doctors have to be there for us in our hour of greatest need. On a regular basis they make critical interventions that can save lives. They also, occasionally, have to reassure their patients that it is perfectly normal to get sore feet after dancing in high heels.
An online list of inappropriate questions and demands made to GPs has attracted the wry appreciation of many within the profession this week.
Examples include the aforementioned sore feet, a severe case of crisp addiction and a query on whether it is possible to guarantee a baby boy.
The list, posted on the website of the Resilient GP group, which supports doctors coping with increasingly heavy workloads, has a serious point.
Birmingham GP Dr John Cosgrove said: “It’s long been known that a lot of what GPs see is not necessarily amenable to medical treatment in the strict sense of the word. That’s fine, we’re quite happy to help people as best we can. But we’re just asking the question, is that the best use of us as a limited resource? With cuts in other services, we’re seen as a quick fix and we get very little in the way of extra support for that.”
Here are some of the most eye-catching patient queries from the list:
“Is my nipple too hairy?”
“Is there a pill so I can have a baby boy?”
“I have ugly feet.”
“Do you have something to make my nails stronger and hair shinier before my holiday tomorrow?”
“Doctor, please tell my son to study harder so he can get into Eton.” The child was six.
“My skin is too soft.”
“I get sore feet when I dance in high heels.”
“I’m addicted to crisps.”
“My lodger is annoying me because he’s spending too much time in his room.”
“I would like a referral for my daughter to become a doctor.”
“Can you settle a marital dispute? My wife thinks paracetamol is better, I think ibuprofen is. Who’s right?”
“I have blisters on my hands since I started in the rowing club.”
“Can I have a sick note for six months because I am nearly at retirement age.”
“Please can you help me write my CV?”
“Please can you fill out my driving licence application as I’m not sure how to.”
“Can you write a letter for the nursery to say my son can go outside with his coat off.”
“I don’t know why I’m here doctor, my wife made the appointment.” Well shall we bring your wife in or telephone her perhaps? “We can’t. She’s in Portugal.”
A heavily pregnant woman attended the GP and asked her to phone her husband to remind him of his “responsibilities”.
Home visit request – turned out to be a request to change batteries in a satellite television remote control and advice on how to use it.
“Doctor, please can you write a letter to my daughter’s school to say I’m finding the school run tiring and can they arrange transport to and from my house?”
Appointment for a lady requesting a letter from the GP for a washing machine as the communal one in the flat was not convenient.
“I’ve just been on holiday with my mistress. I’ve just got back and work want to know where I’ve been. I’d like a sick note to cover me.”
Requests for prescriptions for everyday items, including: sunscreen, toothpaste, anti-ageing cream, shampoo, bras, multivitamins, talcum powder
“I burnt the top of my mouth on pizza 5 days ago…”
Two emergency appointments for a coldsore. The first to tell the patient the diagnosis, the second (later that morning) because the grandmother (a nurse) disagreed with the original diagnosis.
“I am allergic to cats. I am getting a cat. Can I get a vaccination?”
“I’m allergic to avocados, if I eat eight I’m sick.”
“Hi Doctor. I booked this appointment two weeks ago but the problem has gone now. I didn’t want to waste the appointment so I thought it best to come anyway.”
A 24-year-old lady attended, worried as she got butterflies in her tummy when she was around a man she liked.
Patient called 999 and attended A&E because they had broken a false fingernail.
“Tap water makes me ill. I can only drink mineral water but my decreasing benefits mean I can’t afford it any more. What should I do?”
“I’m really worried my daughter has a splinter… can you get it out? We haven’t tried by the way, because we were so worried.”Reuse content