Is it appropriate to make an appointment with my doctor just to ask questions?

29 posts in this topic

TL;DR: Nothing is wrong with me right now. But I have some questions that I think only my doctor could answer satisfactorily. And I would also like to give him some medical records to go off of. 

 


It’s become clear that doctors here don’t have a lot of time to spend with patients. I’m a little worried about taking up precious time away from a patient who actually needs help now. That being said, I do have some burning questions about my health.

 

 I used to suffer very badly from allergies a few years ago, before moving to Germany. I spoke with an allergist and I had tests which confirmed this. Then I began allergy injections which I didn’t tolerate well possibly because of the severity of my symptoms.
 

Since living here though I have barely any symptoms. I thought I was simply managing my allergies very well but when I finally saw a new allergist the test they did showed barely any allergies at all. That’s great news but it leaves me with a lot of questions such as:


Do allergies just disappear and if so are they likely to come back?

 

If I don’t follow through with allergy injections now while I’m asymptomatic, will that leave me open to not being able to tolerate them well if/when I become symptomatic?

 

Also, the doctor hasn’t seen my medical records and is going only off of my word that I have allergies. I would like to give him something to work with in case it becomes relevant in the future.

 

Is this appropriate to book and appointment for this or should I wait until I have a problem?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you already a patient of this doctor? If so, you could just mail your records to her/him or drop them by. 

 

By all means, make an appointment if you have a lot of questions and write them down before you go.

 

If you feel your doctor doesn't have time for you, find a new one.

 

I never worry about taking a doctor's "precious" time. I am also precious and a paying customer.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say "doctor" do you really mean a regular family MD or an allergist MD?  If you have allergy questions you should see an allergist, otherwise the regular MD will simply refer you to one.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My doctor was visibly irritated when I made an appointment just to ask questions. Perhaps it has to do with being paid by my health insurer for the doctor's time only when I was treated for some ailment. Hypothetical questions may not earn him much. But if you were to ask him questions when you do visit for treatment may be ok.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, seeking said:

My doctor was visibly irritated when I made an appointment just to ask questions.

 

I hope you got a new doctor. I would have asked why they were irritated. They get paid for every appointment like doctors everywhere.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

I hope you got a new doctor. I would have asked why they were irritated. They get paid for every appointment like doctors everywhere.

 

No, I still go to him but if he is paid the same for every appointment, I wonder why he was irritated. I will ask him the next time I need treatment. Now I am really miffed..

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say the same. Maybe he was having a shitty day. You have the right to ask why he is being unkind when he is. Or simply, "Are you having a bad day? I don't feel heard."

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I didn't say the same. Maybe he was having a shitty day. You have the right to ask why he is being unkind when he is. Or simply, "Are you having a bad day? I don't feel heard."


Ok, I see what you mean. He is popular and often has all the slots full, yet I do get an appointment as and when I need it. He gives as much time as I need it. My main complaint is, we live only 5 minutes away from the clinic and on the rare occasion that my wife has an emergency, he refers us to Klinikum Grosshadern. I heard that he makes almost NO house calls. Thanks for your responsible reply, though. It is nice of you to clarify.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My HA has referred me to hospital once in an emergency situation. It was horrific pain and turned out to be my appendix. Why go to him first when it could need immediate attention.

 

Sounds like you can work with your guy and sounds like he is very cautious by referring you to hospital.

 

I don't think many doctors with their own practices make house calls any more. You can call the Notdienst. I have done that 3 times, once for my son. They come pretty quick. It's not an ambulance - a doctor comes to diagnose or refer to hospital. He will call an ambulance if needed.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, seeking said:

but if he is paid the same for every appointment, I wonder why he was irritated.

Source: https://www.praktischarzt.de/arzt/hausarzt-gehalt/

The general practitioner receives a lump sum per patient and quarter, regardless of the extent of the treatment and the number of patient visits. It is therefore initially irrelevant whether the patient visits only once or ten times or how complex and cost-intensive the examinations or treatments are. For the current quarter, the flat rate is only paid once. The flat rate depends on the age of the patient. 

Remuneration of general practitioner according to flat rates (GKV = gesetzliche Krankenversicherung = public health insurance):

  • up to the age of 4: 24.00 euro
  • up to the age of 19: 15.50 euro
  • up to 55 years of age: 15.80 euro
  • up to 75 years of age: 24.10 euro
  • from 76th year of life: 30.70 euro
6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, PandaMunich said:

Source: https://www.praktischarzt.de/arzt/hausarzt-gehalt/

The general practitioner receives a lump sum per patient and quarter, regardless of the extent of the treatment and the number of patient visits. It is therefore initially irrelevant whether the patient visits only once or ten times or how complex and cost-intensive the examinations or treatments are. For the current quarter, the flat rate is only paid once. The flat rate depends on the age of the patient. 

Remuneration of general practitioner according to flat rates (GKV):

  • up to the age of 4: 24.00 euro
  • up to the age of 19: 15.50 euro
  • up to 55 years of age: 15.80 euro
  • up to 75 years of age: 24.10 euro
  • from 76th year of life: 30.70 euro


This is very informative. I used to wonder if some doctors kept me waiting just because I was with public insurance. I used to think they make less from my visit, than from those who had private insurance. It seems now like there is a lot more to it than just private and public insurance. Thank you very much for this info.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, fraufruit said:

Again, Panda gives excellent info. I tried to look it up. Thanks, my friend.


Panda and you. Thanks to both of you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had awful hay-fever for many years. Stopped when I was 34, moved home that year. Not had significant allergies since, I am healthier now in retirement than when I was working😃

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, seeking said:

if he is paid the same for every appointment,

He isn´t. While he will be paid for a mere consultation, it´s a pittance.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, fraufruit said:

I don't think many doctors with their own practices make house calls any more.

Where I used to live two GPs who are sharing a practice are jointly employing a collegue just for home visits. He regularly visited my mom twice a week when she was diagnosed with cancer just to monitor and in between if she asked for it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

Remuneration of general practitioner according to flat rates (GKV = gesetzliche Krankenversicherung = public health insurance):

  • up to the age of 4: 24.00 euro
  • up to the age of 19: 15.50 euro
  • up to 55 years of age: 15.80 euro
  • up to 75 years of age: 24.10 euro
  • from 76th year of life: 30.70 euro

 

Interesting. My last visit to a private specialist to follow up on previous issue was listed as 'Consulting 10 mins'. 8,74 Euros factor 3.5 so a total bill of 30,60 Euros. Now I see why I see some doctors say 'private patients only'. They are charging twice the public health insurance rate. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, scook17 said:

Interesting. My last visit to a private specialist to follow up on previous issue was listed as 'Consulting 10 mins'. 8,74 Euros factor 3.5 so a total bill of 30,60 Euros. Now I see why I see some doctors say 'private patients only'. They are charging twice the public health insurance rate. 

Or, to put it another way, my hairdresser and my dog groomer aren’t commanding an hourly wage very far off from that of my Hausarzt, who has far more overhead and liability costs.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a search on German GP's actual salaries and they vary from € 100k to upwards of € 200k. They must be seeing a lot of patients if they are all getting paid the same per visit.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now