Doctor reveals when you should make 'double appointment' with your GP

Doctor reveals the four times you should make a ‘double appointment’ with your GP – and why a single slot can be too short even for ‘routine’ consultations

  • Dr Preeya Alexander says double GP appointments are sometimes needed
  • She says they should be reserved for early pregnancy and mental health plans
  • Melbourne doctor also advises doubles when you have multiple issues to discuss

An Australian doctor has revealed the four circumstances that require a ‘double appointment’ with your GP.

Dr Preeya Alexander, a Melbourne practitioner who shares health advice on Instagram as ‘The Wholesome Doctor’, says single slots that typically last for 10 to 15 minutes are not long enough to adequately deal with certain issues.

In an Instagram post uploaded on Tuesday, she advised back-to-back consultations for women in the early stages of pregnancy, patients seeking mental health care plans or full-body skin checks and anyone with multiple issues to discuss.

Dr Preeya Alexander (pictured) says single slots that typically last for 10 to 15 minutes are not long enough to adequately deal with certain issues

According to Dr Alexander, even routine visits for repeat prescriptions can run longer than 15 minutes if the GP covers all bases.

She says an appointment regarding the pill should involve questions to ensure the patient is safe to continue taking that form of oral contraceptive, as well as checking blood pressure and ensuring there are no adverse side effects.

During these appointments, Dr Alexander says she also checks that patients are up to date with cervical cancer screening, if they are in the relevant age category, along with sexual health screening if the person is sexually active. 

‘It’s not just writing the script and “see ya later”- a single appointment is easily filled especially when we start doing ANY preventative health stuff,’ she wrote.

While she acknowledged that every GP treats patients differently, Dr Alexander says anyone presenting with more than two minor health issues needs a double session to give them the service they deserve.

Her post, which has garnered almost 500 ‘likes’ since it was shared less than 24 hours ago, has sparked passionate responses from followers, with many complaining that their local GPs are not as diligent as Dr Alexander. 

According to Dr Alexander (pictured), even routine visits for repeat prescriptions can run longer than 15 minutes if the GP covers all bases

‘I once asked to book a long appointment, I said it was for mental health and I knew from experience I’d need a longer appointment,’ one person replied.

‘The receptionist told me she wouldn’t do it and the GP would decide, so essentially I’d have to book a regular consult to then be told to book a long appointment, or have the GP squeeze what I needed into one appointment.’

Others thanked Dr Alexander for teaching them that it was possible to book back-to-back sessions in the first place.


Dr Alexander advises back-to-back sessions for women in the early stages of pregnancy (left) and patients seeking mental health care plans (right)

‘I never knew to book double appointments until I came to your clinic! Now I have moved interstate but always book a double if I have a couple of things to discuss and the GP is always grateful,’ said one woman.

Another said she wished she lived in Melbourne so she could see Dr Alexander as her GP. 

A third added: ‘You are clearly an awesome, caring, comprehensive GP with an eye on prevention. Not all are the same. Thank you for caring!’

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