Reasons To Be Cheerful #16: The Doctor’s Surgery

18 Apr




The NHS, which should probably be cherished for now (last legs anyone?) may not be all glitz and glam, but it certainly provides some great spots for people-watching. Within your average GP’s waiting room you really do come across all walks of life and sometimes they get much closer to you than expected. Here’s why I love an appointment:


A still from the doctor's training video

A still from the doctor’s training video

1. The Flashy Signing In Touchscreen

Without doubt a great invention for time-saving, these touchscreens, which have probably now been around for at least five years – retain the shining allure of a self-check0ut imagined back in the ’70s. Unfortunately, whoever created these handy reception avoiders forgot about the inherent British need to queue. Hence why you will often see a line of around 15 people waiting to speak to reception, while the lonely touchscreen goes unnoticed on the opposite wall.

2. Reception Staff

If you were to consider which kinds of places could really benefit from having friendly people in their employ, I’m betting that doctors’ surgeries would be in the top five; definitely above clothes shops, maybe below supermarkets. And you often do come across some winners. They are so dedicated to getting the job right that they make sure they know just what it is that you need to see a doctor for. Often while there’s a line behind you. Who doesn’t love being caroled into saying they have ‘thrush (speak up please) THRUSH – A YEAST INFECTION’ in front of strangers?

3. Children

If you have an appointment anywhere between 10am and 4pm you are likely to encounter a waiting room just full of little cherubs. How lovely it is to see the families from your local area up close and personal. Sometimes a really overwrought mum will take the chance for a sit down to let their little terrors entertain the other patients with fun games like ‘guess who pulled your hair’.

4. The GP’s Online Manual

Doesn’t it just fill one with confidence when, upon explaining your ailment to a doctor, they quite openly google it on what I can only assume to be a sort of privileged access version of the NHS Choices website. I certainly don’t want them making it up as they go along, though I suppose it might be preferable for the doc to point you towards a diversion while they quickly find the ‘diagnosis’ section.

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: It would be really quite nice to find a middle ground between 20 minutes and three weeks for an appointment).




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