Doctors play a key role in your life but some people may have unrealistic expectations.

Knowing what you should and should not expect from your GP is an important part of visiting your local clinic.

At AHA Clinics, we like to emphasise the importance of building a strong two-way relationship with doctors.

It fosters open communication and trust between doctor and patient and leads to better health outcomes.

But part of that relationship is also knowing where the line is and how not to cross it.

Some people may visit their GP with completely unrealistic expectations that fall outside the scope of a doctor’s responsibilities.

Here is a list of things you should not expect from your doctor.

Personal relationships

Most doctors have their jobs not just because they are gifted physicians but because they are great people.

They possess qualities that are not only admirable but necessary to perform their roles.

Those qualities include empathy, compassion and great communication skills.

Sometimes, that makes them seem attractive to a patient in either a personal or social context.

It is always important to respect personal boundaries and keep the doctor-patient relationship professional at all times.

Straying beyond those boundaries may lead to embarrassment or disappointment.

Expecting any sort of a personal relationship is high among unrealistic expectations of doctors.

Personal medical advice without a consultation

Seeking personal medical advice from your doctor without a consultation is not appropriate at any time.

Always limit your discussions with your doctor about your health to scheduled appointments for accurate guidance.

This also sits high among the unacceptable and extremely unrealistic expectations of doctors.

Unlimited time during appointments

Most doctors run a busy and tight schedule seeing many patients every day.

All appointments are assigned a certain time frame.

If you know you need more time than that to discuss a particular issue, book a double appointment or have a discussion with the clinic support team.

But all the while, remember you and your doctor are both on the clock and other people have medical problems too.

24/7 availability

Doctors work long hours.

It is an important and demanding job, and they need down time too.

Many doctors have suffered burnout in recent years, exacerbated by the incredible demands of working around the clock through the pandemic under trying conditions.

Doctors are entitled to days off just like everyone else so if your preferred doctor isn’t available when you book, you can follow one of the following courses of action:

  • delay your visit until they are available
  • see another doctor at the clinic
  • if it is an emergency, visit your local hospital 
  • call an ambulance

Immediate solutions to every problem

Your doctor is highly skilled in their profession.

But they are not a magician and cannot solve every issue with a snap of their fingers.

Many medical problems need thorough investigation involving testing and follow-up appointments.

This takes time. Immediate solutions to complex health issues are not always possible.

Reading your mind

It should go without saying, but your doctor can’t read your mind!

They act on the information you give them and the symptoms that are present.

Hence, you need to communicate openly and honestly with your doctor to gain the best possible results.

If you fail to do that, you risk being misdiagnosed.

Miracle cures

Medicine has its limitations and not all conditions can be cured instantly.

Be realistic about your expectations for treatment and take responsibility for the state of your own health.

Follow your doctor’s guidance closely in terms of treating chronic conditions.

Appreciate that while doctors can provide probabilities of potential outcomes, there are no guarantees in health matters.

Infallibility

It’s important to appreciate that medicine remains an imprecise science.

Some conditions don’t always present the same way and may be difficult to diagnose.

They also rely heavily on what you tell them regarding your symptoms.

Don’t lose faith in your doctor. Communicate openly with them and address your concerns realistically to help resolve your condition as quickly as possible.

Prescription medications for every visit

Doctors prescribe medications with a lot of thought.

Not all conditions require or respond to certain prescription medications.

Some bacteria has built up considerable resistance to antibacterial drugs, hence prescribing them is not always desirable.

At times, it will be more prudent to encourage lifestyle changes.

Other times, monitoring and further evaluation will be preferred in the hope that a condition will resolve itself.

Excessive testing or medication requests

It is inappropriate to pressure your doctor into ordering excessive tests or to ask for medication to be prescribed that is not deemed as necessary by a present condition.

Trust their professional judgement and respect their ethical boundaries.

Personalised medical certificates without examination

Doctors cannot provide a medical certificate or documentation if you do not make yourself available for examination.

To ask them to do so is inappropriate and would leave them vulnerable to disciplinary action.

This includes legal or disability determinations without a proper evaluation.

Don’t ask doctors for their legal opinions. Legal matters should be left to lawyers.

Financial assistance

Your doctor is performing an important professional role for the benefit of your health.

But it does not always come without cost.

While doctors will be happy to offer you advice and tips on how to keep your medical costs down, they are not able to offer financial assistance to their patients.

Most will be bound by the rules of the practice where they work.

It is not appropriate to ask them to directly intervene in billing matters.

Book an appointment

We all have day jobs and expect a certain level of respect and consideration when performing them.

It’s important to give your doctor that same level of respect and not have any unrealistic expectations of them.

To benefit from a long and fruitful relationship with your GP – one that maximises the benefits to your health – know where the boundaries are and don’t cross them.

If you’re searching for a new GP, there’s no better place to look than AHA Clinics.

Our two practices at Seaford and Seaford Meadows connect you with a tremendous range of caring and qualified doctors from all walks of life who have interests in many different fields of medicine.

They will listen attentively to your health issues before working with you to discuss the most appropriate course of action.

You’ll find our purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities are fitted out with the very latest medical instruments and utilise cutting edge technologies.

The buildings are bathed in natural light that will have you feeling better even before your consultation.

Why not discover them for yourself?

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.