Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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The right doctor

September 01 2021

In difficult circumstances, the care and support of a friendly, empathetic doctor can make a world of difference, writes Esther Crespo-Rupérez

I was in a dire situation, made redundant, unable to find another job and homeless. The only person I could turn to was my doctor. She made me feel supported when I was at rock bottom. She kept me healthy and strong to carry on looking for work. My experience with other doctors had been disappointing so when I first met this doctor I felt her empathy. She showed interest in what was going on in my life. She showed interest in helping me improve my health. I did not see that same interest from other doctors. Even though I was a migrant, she treated me with respect and warmth.

But then she was gone. When I next went to the surgery I was told she had moved to another area of London. I was so upset. But I was determined to find her.

Finally I found her at her new surgery. I went to visit her. I told her that even though I was not in her area, I would travel to her and I would adapt to the circumstances. She said she would bring my case to the meeting with her colleagues. She argued for me to be allowed to continue to be her patient. And they said yes.

I felt immediate peace of mind.  I could feel relaxed because I trusted her. At the moment, with the pandemic, I don’t see her very often but I know I can count on her. This is extremely important to me, and I’m sure to anyone else who feels isolated and has difficult circumstances.

To me, to have my health checked and be able to access medical services is a basic right. I know too many people struggle to find a doctor with empathy and compassion – and often to find a doctor at all. In that respect I feel very lucky for having such a caring doctor.

In a nutshell

Are you suffering from some of the troubles described in this article?

  • You can register with a GP if you are homeless
  • Information on some healthcare support services can be found in the List. See the centre pages
  • For non-urgent medical advice you can call the NHS for free on 111