I have seen the future of NHS neurology ..........

… and it isn’t completely brilliant I can tell you.

Went for my latest Tysibri infusion on Friday. The clinic was quiet and I got chatting to the very nice registrar who was looking after me. After a nice gossip she started on the old “You can say no if you want but would you be prepared to do us a favour” routine. Turned out that the latest crop of housemen / trainee doctors were just finishing their rotation and in ordere to pass their latest exams they had to do an examination and probable diagnosis / proposed tests for a patient as if they had just come into clinic for the first time.

And I was their guinea pig!

They did not have any of my notes or know what my diagnosis was other than the briefest intro of “this lady is complaining of trouble walking” They were supposed to do take a full medical history and carry out a neuro examination. They had to do this within a set time and they were judged on “bedside manner” as well as their medical know how.

The first student was EXCELLENT. Lovely, friendly and reassuring manner. Took a comprehensive medical history including family history (which - in my case - has a couple of interesting (non-MS) neuro issues). She then carried out an examination that was quick but thorough.

We even ended up laughing when, after checking my walking, she said “now, could you walk with your feet directly one in front of the other - heel/toe. heel/toe?” To which the answer came “you must be having a giraffe mate!”

Finally she went through my “possible diagnosis” based on what she saw saying “well it could be X, Y or Z but I have to say that you have all the classic symptoms of MS but I would need to do these tests before we would be sure”


Didn’t introduce herself.

Didn’t ask my name.

Didn’t take a medical history or even ask me what symptoms had “brought me to the clinic”

In face, she hardly said a word, just physically pushed me, pulled me and hit me with rubber hammers!!!

Please G*d number 2 doesn’t become anyone’s neuro consultant in 5 years of so

Number 1 will probably make a lovely paediatrician or caring GP. Number 2 … Maybe she should consider pathology or microbiology… !!!

The cynic in me fears that Medic 2 will become a Consultant Neuro!!

Hi, I am a student nurse about to start my placement on a neurology ward. As I will be caring for people with MS I would really appreciate advice and insight into how I can provide the best care. Also not every healthcare student is like that awful second one you spoke about! All the student nurses on my course are very people centred and caring. Thanks.

Sounds like all the ones l have seen.

I assume student 2 failed? I bet she was taught bedside manner by one of the neuros I have seen!

i was guinea pig for neuro students when i was first diagnosed.

they even asked me how my bladder was behaving.

they were so young and earnest.

carole x

I have been a guinea pig on a few occasions.

One occasion, the student diagnosed a brain tumour, to be followed by one who said there is nothing wrong with this patient.

One student who tested me 9 years ago is now a neuro at the hospital i attend.


I hope that was a good one then! :slight_smile:

Sonia x

Yeh, such a wide variety of future doctors indeed!

Wonder who`ll get the good ones and who will get the worst.

Most of the 16 neuros i`ve seen, are great and attentive initially and then when they see my notes, they fall apart! They say they intend to do so and so, and it rarely happens!

luv Pollx

I too had a junior doctor assess me when I was admitted to hospital last year with my first relapse (pre a diagnosis of MS). She had a very cold manner and, after examining me, told me that my leg and torso numbness was almonst certainly down to the fact that I had had 3 glasses of wine the previous evening. Thankfully the hospital anyway undertook MRI and lumbar puncture which did get to the MS diagnosis…

…So, this wine that can make a person numb ?

Don’t suppose you could tell us what to keep an eye out for ?!