CHOICE membership

GP Recommendation

I wonder if there is a GP recommendation forum that can be searched by suburb and area of interest eg woman’s health.

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Not as such. This ABC article has some information

including a government ‘find a doctor’ tool, but the quality is never addressed, and doctors reputations re complaints, successful suits, and so on are closely held ‘to protect their reputations’. Nothing about our rights to know who might best be avoided…

Many areas have Facebook Groups and the locals often ask for recommendations for this and that, including doctors and dentists and all sorts of allied professions and tradies, and they get them. If you are on Facebook search for a group local to you, join it, and pose the question.

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I did just this recently, for a very unwell brother, who lives more than 2 hours drive from me in a large regional town: he needed a “listener”, unlike his (then) current GP - a factory conveyer belt practice…
There were quite a few responses, all polite (& pertinent), with the majority suggesting one particular doctor. Success!

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Ask around your local area such as at mother groups, playgroups, schools, neighbours, friends, chemists etc depending in you own stage in life. Personal recommendations for good GPs will often are better than online forums.

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When we move, we found our GP by asking around our new neighbours. We were extraordinarily lucky in finding an old school caring doctor.

More recently, our local area Facebook page has had requests for recommendations from new arrivals. The most recent request from last week had about ten different GPs recommended in the surrounding suburbs. A few had multiple recommendations. These would be the ones I would try first if I was on the hunt now.

There are web sites with MD’s ratings, but I wouldn’t trust these too much, as most people wouldn’t know about them, or bother to put in a rating if they were happy with their doctor. On the other hand, unhappy patients would be more likely to search these pages out… An MD could have thousands of happy patients, but what you would see is the one and only unhappy patient’s opinion.

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I’m cautious that one persons needs might be different to mine. It lessens the value of any unqualified recommendation. As a family we’ve lived in 8 distinctly different communities over 35+ years.

Our decisions on which Doctor is the best came down to accessibility and convenience. The same might apply for many underserved urban areas. From our urban living experiences where there may be multiple options.

  • Look for a practice/surgery that is nearby or convenient to get too.
  • Larger medical surgeries can have a multitude of Doctors to choose from. You are free to change at any time. Note a heavily booked Doctor might be a sign of popularity, but not necessarily the abilities one needs most.
  • In some larger medical practices individual Doctors have a range of experiences and strengths. EG Great experience, more accustomed to elderly patient needs, vs children vs …
  • Knowing that a Doctor/s you are comfortable with are committed to the practice and locality is something we value. It takes a few face to face visits to be sure.

A practice with only a few doctors can come to depend on just the one or two great professionals. It’s something to consider carefully. We’ve had great service in the one/zero Doctor towns as well as from small local practices. We’ve also experienced the difficulties of larger surgeries where the majority of the medical staff are short term, high turn over.

For many we are fortunate to have a choice. Consider those amongst us living outside the urban footprint or a larger regional centre. There may be only one doctor in the town, or none at all. All Doctors are good ones, although it may need an air evacuation to get the service.

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The following is a useful website to get information about a doctor’s qualifications:

www.ahpra.gov.au

You can find out:
• If they’re registered and the registration number.

• Type of medicine they are practicing.

• Name and location of university they attended and year of graduation.

• Date of their first registration.

• Any concerns or complaints can be lodged at that site.

I found out that my doctor did medicine at the University of London, which would explain the accent :laughing:

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I wish. Discovering those who should arguably not be practising or that ‘we’ best stay clear of is as opaque as it gets. Missing advanced appendicitis as some bad food for example, resulting in a ruptured appendix? Perhaps that GP would have been fine to prescribe some antibiotics for an infection or monitor cholesterol and BP and those who never needed anything more would have thought that one good?

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So, do I wish.
But often there is no choice, in which instance, in context:

We’ve been there with 3 young children. It’s relative to needs on the day. Hope that clarifies what I was intending.

We could start a long discussion on what is broken with our health services in rural and regional Australia. It’s where the best GP’s and emergency staff should be, but the greatest financial rewards are found in the leafy glades of the best suburbs of the capitals. Until such times the RFDS and state emergency choppers provide a wonderful service of last resort.

Apologies if I’m on a slightly different pathway.
I suspect I also know where many of the second tier in performance medical professionals might most often find employment. Improved Transparency might prove me right.

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Perhaps this TV show might cheer you up.

Now streaming on 9 NOW.

To me that is an excellent approach - workplace colleagues included in the ‘neighbours’ equation - you could include fellow members of clubs etc.

I have a personal favourite and won’t see anyone else. When I recommend him I give specific caveats - he seems dry, aloof maybe and will be very direct, but the other side of that is he actually has a great dry sense of humour, is very knowledgeable and don’t we really want to be hit between the eyes with the truth rather than mollycoddled? The general consensus of people I’ve sent his way seems that they appreciate his approach and it was good to have the warning, because a wrong impression might be easy.

I think a lot of people forget a couple of things about the medical profession, namely:

  • you are a paying customer - they are providing a service - expect good service and go elsewhere if you don’t get it.

  • you are visiting a doctor to ‘get better’ not just to ‘feel better’ - if they tell you something you don’t want to hear (mine has) then listen up !!

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When we moved to our second residence in 1996, we discovered that a next door neighbours and the family across the street were also using our existing GP.

We had only moved some 4km so we did not need to find a new GP but the neighbours had settled on the same one which we still use.

We had previously had 2 other great GP’s. One was an Irishman with 5 degrees but he went off to work in tourism and the other was a character who kept a toy train set on his desk but he retired.

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