In regards to General Practitioner we do not have an issues with their services other than the fact they often step outside of their own speciality and attempt to diagnose illnesses that they are clearly not able assess due to their limited knowledge and expertise.
For example, General Practitioners often attempt to diagnose Dementia and another illnesses without referring a patient on for Neuropsychological testing or to Neuropsychiatrist and diseases and illnesses are misdiagnosed and families struggle for many years until the correct diagnosis is made.
We at AASGAA strongly believe that General Practitioner should refer on any patients to the necessary Neuropsychiatrist for a full assessment.
In one case, a General Practitioner referred a clearly ill man to a Geriatrician and a Professor in Ageing (not a Neurologist nor Psychiatrist). All stated the man had capacity according to their testing. Testing based on appearance, the man’s ability to string a sentence and mini mental testing.
The man in question suffered from severe delusions and recall memory issues. Not one of the Doctors went back to the family to compare his autobiographical history with the family. They did not even look at the man’s medical history (severe mental issues for decades).
If they had of done this, they would have detected the severe memory recall. Errors in date and time and events and clear errors in the man’s family history compared to what he provided in the assessments.
When the man was sent to a Neuropsychiatrist, he was found to have severe Frontotemporal Dementia and recall memory loss. The family spent four years attempting to help their Father.
Often Doctors rely on a mini mental test and general knowledge. This is not sufficient (as shown in another area of this website).
Families need to be consulted, a detailed past medical history provided and families need to note down the behavioural symptoms and issues and provide this information also.
If this is not provided, a misdiagnosis is quite high.
In addition, we have heard many horror stories regarding Geriatricians and Psychologists especially those medical practitioners attached to Aged Care Centres and State Government Memory Centres referred by Guardians or Social Workers. We strongly recommend families go one step higher to Neurologist a Psychiatrist or Neuropsychiatrist for assessments.
Note: Psychologists are NOT Doctors. They can only offer an opinion NOT a CERTAIN diagnosis.
Often Geriatricians have stopped and attempted to stop people from seeing a Neurologist and this is clearly a breach of ethical standards. Geriatricians are NOT Neurologists nor Neuropsychiatrists and cannot diagnose Psychiatric illnesses.
Another concern: we are wary of Doctors who work for Government Departments assessing on behalf of another Governments Department and those linked to Aged care Facilities. We have heard too many horror stories of Professionals toning down the severity of Cognitive Impairments for their employers.
When in doubt: force a second opinion from a trusted Physician. Mistakes happen and collusion is also a reality.
Scream and shout until you do!