Dr Elisabeth Wearne: Speaking with health professionals

Listen to patients and health professionals speak about their experience with taking multiple medicines.

Dr Elisabeth Wearne
Main occupation: General practitioner
Years in clinical practice: 7
Qualifications: MBBS, FRACGP

Dr Elisabeth Wearne, GP, is always happy to talk to her patients about their concerns regarding their medicines. Some of the discussions include the information her patients find on the internet or hear through the media; and reviewing their medicines to ensure they still need everything they are taking.

Oh, look, I love having those conversations with patients. I think patients should come and talk to their doctor about it or talk to their pharmacist about it. I think we live in an age where there is so much information at the ready. People can get on their phone and Google something straight away, but there is information coming in magazines and newspapers and … so I see my role as a GP these days to be more of a guide to information, to learning what's reputable, learning what sources are more reputable than others; how to look at an advertisement and get to the bottom of where it is coming from and what that might mean.

So I see that as my job and I think patients should feel like they can talk to their doctors about that. We’re not …GPs aren’t trying to prescribe outside of guidelines or evidence. They're not trying to push medications upon people. And I think patients need to feel like they trust that their GP’s trying to act in their best interests. So patients, I think, need to feel really empowered to talk to their doctors more about concerns that they have and most do … And I love it when patients come and say, ‘Look, I want to just have a look at my medications and do you think there's any way I can rationalise what I'm taking?’ I really like having that conversation and every time I have that conversation with someone, I say to myself, ‘I must do this more proactively with people’ ... to actually look at what they're taking and why. Is there anything we can change, or reduce, or stop?

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The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia.