At the end of the year, many people take the opportunity to get information from their general practitioner. Maybe to fill out a PrEP script, plan an annual screening, or finally get that awesome piece checked out. Seeing the doctor can seem like a chore. I have a few tips to help you get the most out of your GP appointment.
Dr. Rhys Young is a proud member of the LGBTQ + community with a special interest in the individual and family health of LGBTQ + people. He believes in the importance of good sexual health, STI testing and prevention, including prescribing PrEP.
Find the right GP for you
If you don’t have a regular GP or if you’re unhappy with your current doctor, take the time to find a new doctor. It can be more difficult than scrolling through Grindr! Take a look at a practice website to make sure they are LGBTQ compatible. Do Doctors Share Their Pronouns? Are they talking about PrEP or sexual health? Make sure your GP is aware of your specific health concerns. Consider calling or emailing ahead of time for things like prescribing HIV S100 or gender affirmation.
Forgive us for being late
Doctors have a bad reputation for being late and how frustrating it can be! This happens for two main reasons. First, patients sometimes arrive late and even 5 minutes will pass for the rest of the day. Second, sometimes patients need extra time and we let the appointment run overtime. Sometimes frustrating, but remember that one day you might be the one who needs our extra time. Personally, I add a blank to my appointments. By doing this, I don’t have to rush to the patients and I can spend more time providing help.
Know how much time you have
Most firms offer “standard” or “long” appointments. The weather varies. Bulk billing practices tend to have shorter appointments in order to see more patients. I usually say that a standard date is for a problem. You’d better go for a long date for multiple or complex issues like mental health. If you don’t want to rush something, choose a long date.
Also, don’t try to pack as much as you can for a date. When people bring in a list of issues, we have two options. Quickly go through the list and hit every point, but you’re probably missing something along the way. Or choose the most important issue and give it the time and attention it deserves.
Don’t get a “bill shock”
Make sure you know the cost of the consultation. While some GPs charge wholesale, nowadays most charge more than Medicare pays – the spread fee. For example, if Medicare pays $ 39.10 for an appointment and your GP charges $ 39.10, your consultation is fully covered. But if your GP charges $ 70, then you will need to pay a $ 30.90 variance fee.
Get an interpreter if you need
If English is not your first language, don’t hesitate to ask for a translator. I find professional translators better than family or friends. General practitioners all have access to the “Translation and Interpretation Service” to obtain a translator by telephone. If you notify the reception team in advance, it can be organized for your appointment with the general practitioner.
Finally: smile, but don’t show me your teeth
It always amazes me that people think GPs know teeth! If you have a toothache: go to your dentist! They are well equipped to prescribe pain relievers or antibiotics and can deal with these problems quickly. I would much rather deal with gonorrhea and syphilis than do a root canal!
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