I understand that this is a stressful experience for you, but I’m going to suggest that there are probably no interpersonal skills which will persuade the surgery to change the system for you. There may be skills that help you navigate the system more successfully though.
It’s a triage system, the GP can’t call everyone who would like a telephone appointment, so the Practice has to have a system to prioritise patients for the GP’s call list. Triage literally means allocation of resources where they will have most effect, so you are right that it is selective, but the aim is to select by clinical need, not to punish people for being reticent in divulging personal details.
To make this selection they need information. If you are not able to give the necessary information over the phone then they have to get it another way. The way they have offered you is a telephone appointment with the Nurse Practitioner, which does not ease your situation.
I do understand your reluctance, I’m a woman and I don’t much relish it if I have to see a male GP for more intimate health issues. But it is so important that you communicate to the Practice what it is you think is wrong. Prostate cancer is really survivable, but your chances go down the longer you delay.
When diagnosed at its earliest stage, all (100%) people with prostate cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 1 in 2 (49%) people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
So you need to find a way, which you are comfortable with, to get across to the Reception staff what the nature of your concern is.
I’ve not been in your situation, so I cannot make promises about what will or won’t work, but I do know that as soon as they understand what your issue is they will want to help. The fastest appointment I ever had was after I told the Receptionist that I’d found a breast lump.
So the essential skill is effective and appropriate communication, finding a way to communicate sufficient information within your comfort level for the Reception staff to allocate the resources you need.
You don’t have influence to change how decisions are made, but you can be more persuasive in getting the decision you want.
Persuasion and influence may seem to have somewhat identical meanings, but there is a subtle difference. Persuasion is communicating with someone to get them to do something, whereas influence is the ability to change how someone thinks to get them to do something. Essentially, whenever you’re changing the underlying way people think, it’s influence otherwise, it’s persuasion.
You don’t want to give details to the women who handle incoming calls, but you do have to give them a reason to allocate GP resources to you.
My suggestion is that you find a way to depersonalise your explanation of your symptoms, perhaps by reference to the NHS’s (I’m assuming you are in the UK) website. That would allow you to say something like
I’d like a consultation with a male GP, as I am experiencing all of the symptoms of prostate cancer as listed on the NHS website.
You would still be expressing to them that you have difficulty peeing etc, but without having to literally describe your symptoms.
But please, do understand that reception staff are under a legal obligation of confidentiality. If persuasion doesn’t work you might have to be more explicit in order to get the investigation you need. Don’t let your natural instinct for privacy stand between you and treatment.