The right GP

Older people with cancer told us it is important to have the right GP for you. They said your GP should be a great GP who has the following attributes: 

  • someone you feel comfortable with, that you can talk to about all aspects of your health and wellbeing 
  • someone you can have an honest and trusted conversation with 
  • someone who knows you as a person and asks about your needs and preferences 
  • someone who is interested in you and takes time to listen 
  • someone who can treat you over time, who can continue to be your GP  
  • someone who also looks out for your partner and carer as well 

 “A really good GP knows you, they can guide you gently….. and really look after you.”  

 Marilyn, 78yrs, cancer patient and carer

Finding a new GP

“Mum could not really communicate with her GP. When she moved into an aged care home she agreed to see the GP there. Mum thinks that Pauline, her new GP is wonderful. Pauline takes time with her, shows an interest and contacts the family to discuss any concerns. Mum now realises that good care was something she had been missing out on with her previous GP.”

Carer of Muriel, aged 88yrs 

It is very common situation that older people have to find a GP who can better meet their needs.  

If you need to find a new GP ask your family, friends, neighbours or local pharmacy for their recommendations.  

Most people like to have a GP: 

  • who is close by to where they live 
  • who will visit them at home if needed  
  • who speaks the language that they speak (or can help organise a translator)   
  • is their preferred gender if they have a preference for a male or female doctor.  

If the cost of medical appointments is a concern for you, ask the GP practice about their billing cost and payments:

“The best way to discover if a GP is the right fit for you is to book a consultation, meet your GP and talk to them about your needs and expectations”.  

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

If you are not satisfied that you’ve found “your” GP visit other doctors until you find the right GP for you. 

If you are not happy with your current GP then it is time to change to a GP who is the right GP for your health and wellbeing.

In this video Doug describes how important his GP was in his cancer diagnosis.