Our GP system

A contribution from one of our readers.


I recently showed a GP, (a new one,) a copy of a report I’d got on an MRI I’d had done on my brain, as I was continuing to have mild headaches 2 or 3 times a week. (I had exaggerated my symptoms to my former GP to make sure she sent me off for an MRI as I’m a great believer in MRIs.) Basically, it reported that there was nothing wrong, although it concluded with these two paragraphs, and, in relation to the last one I was advised by the GP that it could relate to something very serious, a LIFE AND DEATH MATTER!!!!!

And he wrote down on a piece of paper the names of two neurosurgeons he could refer me to for treatment.

So I sent off the same letter by email to these two neurosurgeons, asking whether they agreed  that a “life and death matter” was involved, “And if so, is helping people with this problem one of your areas of expertise?”

The first one replied very promptly, via her PA, that this was NOT one of her areas of expertise!!!!????

And the second one’s PA replied even more promptly, within 20 minutes, with, “I have ran the results past the doctor. His comment was that the results as described in the report do not indicate anything serious, and most likely this condition does not require treatment.”!!!!???


It confirms a view that we’ve been forming that often GPs have not the slightest idea about the Specialists they’re  referring us to – we have to do our own research.

Presumably the GP in our reader’s story thought any problems that were shown up in an MRI were within the first Specialist’s areas of expertise, which they weren’t, and that the second Specialist would agree with him, to a certain extent at least, that a “life and death” matter was involved, which he didn’t!!!!????

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