When I saw Mrs Cooks said, "I don't want to be seen by the consultant, because the last time I saw him, he hardly spoke to me". Mrs Cooks fumed, "He never asked me what I wanted & didn't listen when I told him I did not want to be investigated any further. I was examined & sent for 5 different tests including X-Rays, ultrasounds, blood tests & ECGs. I was here nearly 5 hours last time."
I was not surprised by what I was hearing. I have seen how Grumps interacts with his patients. They are made to sit in the corner in silence whilst he pours through the notes. The atmosphere would be similar to a naughty pupil sitting in the headmaster's office. After a long deafening silence, he would instruct the patient to undress for examination. Without further explanation, the patient would then be sent on his or her way for an exhaustive battery of tests taking up to several hours.
After all the results are back, the patient would then be summoned back to Grump's room where he would pronounce his verdict & treatment plan. If the patient dared to as so much question him, he would give them a patronising look, simply repeat his verdict & treament plan without elaborating any further. At the end of the consultation, the patient would be dismissed with the phrase, "that will be all".
Its absolutely embarassing to watch this display. I can't believe how little he communicates to the patient. Until then, I didn't realise that doctors like this existed anywhere except on television as caricatures.
Grumps unfortunately, is a relic from a bygone era where patients were talked at, not talked to. He is an excellent, knowledgable clinician & even has many patients that adore him. But his clinical practice fails on the communication skills side. He gives doctors a bad name & lets patients down. Even to his fellow doctors, Grumps remains a poor communicator, in particular those junior to him. He is capable of communicating well with fellow consultants, so its because of a lack of will rather than a lack of ability. Grumps has been working in the same hospital for over 30 years. He is head of department & has many powerful allies.
It will not be easy to change him. Suggestions anyone?