The most common question DHASWA is asked is “Where do I find a good GP?” Asking for help and entrusting your care to another doctor is a big step for many doctors. Historically, doctors are not good at having their own GP, nor in seeking psychiatric help if needed. In response to this need, DHASWA has compiled** the following list of doctors who have expressed an interest in doctors’ health and are willing to see doctor (and medical student) patients as a priority. Currently, the list includes General Practitioners and Psychiatrists, with a plan to expand to other specialists including psychologists.

When ringing, simply identify yourself as a Doctor or medical student to the receptionist, in order to be given priority for an appointment. Click here for the complete Doctors for Doctors list.

Why you need a GP

There are many reasons we need our own GP: preventative health checks, mental wellbeing, appropriate assessment and prescribing are all important. Self-diagnosis, self-medication and the ‘corridor consult’ have many ethical, professional and legal pitfalls. So, for health professionals why do we find it so hard to see a GP?

Many Doctors find it hard to see a GP in office hours and some doctors face access issues due to distance. Another problem is finding the doctor who is the right fit. We all know friends or colleagues who are great doctors. The trouble is we aren’t always comfortable sharing the intimate details of our lives with co-workers or social contacts. What we want is a doctor with the appropriate professional distance with whom we can have a long-term therapeutic relationship.

10 reasons why you should have a GP:

  1. Your GP is your independent advocate in the health system. GPs spend all their time going in to bat for their patients and are very good at it.
  2. Your GP has a different set of referral networks to you and can decide who is most appropriate to see you for further specialised care. It is more than likely that your own informal network of professional friends from medical school really do not want to see you.
  3. Your GP is a very broadly trained generalist and understands the broader impact of work, relationships and lifestyle on the mental and physical health of the individual.
  4. GPs focus on preventive medicine including immunisation and age-appropriate health screening. This is underdone among doctors in particular.
  5. GPs have recall systems and high levels of computerisation which assist with caring for patients and reducing prescribing errors.
  6. GPs are confidential and understand the importance of confidential advice to the medical profession.
  7. Your GP maintains your complete medical record and can coordinate clinical handover when you are travelling or moving interstate.
  8. Your GP is interested in you as a person and understands what it takes to be a sustainable and successful medical professional.
  9. Your GP looks at you holistically and independently. They will see things you will not.
  10. Your GP will help you live longer. There is good evidence for the benefits to longevity from having a GP.

 

^10 reasons written by Dr Roger Sexton, Medical Director of Doctors Health South Australia, for Australian Medicine, 27 April 2018.

*Disclaimer: This list has been created in good faith.  DHASWA does not personally endorse any individual Doctor on this list. If you experience any difficulties then please contact the Manager of DHASWA via the “Contact Us” facility on the DHASWA website. Further information on Doctors listed may be obtained from their practice website.

**This list was initially compiled with the assistance of the AMA WA Doctors in Training Welfare Committee.