Bioethics Discussion Blog: I Love My Doctor and Here is the Reason Why

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Love My Doctor and Here is the Reason Why

If you read the threads on this blog such as "I Hate Doctors", "Male Cirecumcision:Should It be a Crime?" or "Naked" , reflecting on what many of the visitors wrote, you would think that doctors are the lowest form of animal life and as disgusting to many as a black bug in the kitchen. Could this be the general consensus of the public about physicians in this age of "medical miracles"?

With this thread, I wanted to give another view to express their stories about their doctors and their positive feelings about them. If you have something good to say about doctors, write it here and tell us why you have this positive view of them. Please don't name any names when you write since I would rather you don't indentify the physicians because there may be some visitor who might misuse your commentary. ..Maurice.

24 Comments:

At Sunday, November 18, 2007 10:50:00 AM, Blogger MY OWN WOMAN... said...

How do I love my doctor(s); let me count the ways.

Let me start with my family doctor. He is as old as I am which means he has some of the same things happening in his life that I have happening in mine. During my appointments or when I am in the hospital, I recognize that he puts his own "problems" aside to deal with mine. He is kind, compassionate, and has a desire to "KNOW" me as a patient and a person. He recognizes the weaknesses and strengths in me by knowing what I have been through. Now, if any of you out there think that doctor's don't have their own set of "problems" and things that they need to deal with, come back to reality; yet, for a period of time my doctor sets those things aside to make me feel as if I am the most important thing on his mind.

Shall we move on to my cardiologist? My cardiologist is younger than me which means he has younger children and a young wife who give up their time with him so that he can be with me during my time of need. I work in the ER and see the time he spends with his patients and the times he comes in during the middle of the night to perfom immediate procedures all in an effort to save someone's life whom he "barely knows" and even less often gets a "thank you" from. I do not miss any opportunity I get to say thank you to him, for myself and for others. He has been with me through my heart attack (at my very young age) and he was the one that had to tell me that stenting was not an option but the only chance of survival I had was bypass surgery - a 6 vessel one no less. Do you think for one minute that he doesn't see that my mortality could very well be his own; that no one is immune from death and dying?

Now let me move on to my cardiovascular surgeon, who is the doctor I know the least. He has held my heart - literally - in his hands so that I could live to tell about it. Who knows, maybe you can view that as just another day at the office, but I can not.

Last, but certainly not least, is my daughter. I have watched her take calls during dinner from her patients who just needed some reassuring and I have had to get my dinner in a doggie bag to go all because I was having dinner with her and a patient needed her. I have listened to her frustration over the non-compliance of some of her patients and I allowed her to cry on my shoulder at the death of her patients.

I have seen all sides. I've been the patient, I've been the nurse, and I've been the mother of a doctor. I know, without guessing, that most doctors give their all without asking for a whole lot in return. If you like, you can put a price tag on what doctor's do for you, but make sure you factor into the price what the cost is to the doctor - not just financially, but emotionally as well.

 
At Sunday, November 18, 2007 3:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and have never had a doctor over the years about whom I ever had a single complaint. It would be hard to talk about one of them being extra-special, but I will. Not long ago I took a backward, freak fall and broke my hip. I'd never before met the surgeon, and didn't til after the surgery, but instantly trusted him. He was so respectful, immediately answered my questions, and was so conscientious in making sure my recovery was going well (it went perfectly). But I have to say that from the EMTs, the ER people, to the floor nurses and aides -- our local hospital must be the best in the world. I was so grateful to them all, but especially to that young surgeon.

 
At Monday, November 19, 2007 7:46:00 PM, Blogger MJ_KC said...

I don't think that I would say that I love any of my doctors, but I certainly do not have any problems with any of them. I have been to 5 different specialists in the last couple of months and they have all done a really good job, along with the medical students who did the initial exams in some instances.

Perhaps the people who have problems with doctors are just expecting too much and expect doctors to have an answer for everything. Most doctors are highly competent, but nobody is perfect.

 
At Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say I don't love any of my doctors, but that almost certainly has more to do with the fact that I grossly resent being chronically ill than any failing on their part.

There is one doctor who has been part of my care, though, who I like very much. When you are chronically and incurably ill with something that doesn't kill you, it is more important to treat the patient than the disease, and Dr. M is interested more in my well being than the state of my "numbers". He respects my right to choose my own course of care, even if he does not necessarily agree with me -- he simply provides me with the options and facts, answers any questions, and then we move on. He is pleasant and courteous, and he has remembered my partner's name. Most importantly, he respects me as an intelligent human being, not just a disease to be treated.

PG

 
At Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous js md said...

Well Dr. B., 105 comments as to why I hate my doctor and none for why I love my doctor. Does that mean that everyone hates doctors, or perhaps only doctor haters are attracted to these boards??

 
At Tuesday, November 20, 2007 4:42:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

js md, I think your conclusion is wrong because of my deliquency in moderating and posting the responses. I was away from home and had no access to the internet.

I am encouraged by the responses I have received so far on this thread that doctors are not only doing the right thing but are being recognized in a supportive and appreciative sense by their patients for their actions and behavior. ..Maurice.

 
At Saturday, November 24, 2007 4:31:00 AM, Blogger MJ_KC said...

I was just admitted to the hospital for about two days and saw at least 8 different doctors between the ones I saw in the ER, and the lab pathologist who alerted me to get back to the hospital because of an abnormal blood test, and the doctors who took care of me after I got to my room

They were all great and got things taken care of quickly and they all did the needed exams that got me to where I could return home. My thanks to these very good doctors who work long hours seeing that we all get to live as long as possible.

 
At Saturday, January 26, 2008 4:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my doctor. I wanted to be a doctor in college, but I didn't want to put in all those years and time. I do highly respect people that do sacrifice all that, and I don't understand all the negativity lately about them (which coincidentally seems politically motivated). They sacrficie so much of their young lives to take care of people they do not know, often paying back tons of loans, and always working days on end. My doctor knows her stuff, is always prepared even on no sleep, and is very kind. I think they are easy targets for this "demand all I want for free" mental state of some people these days. I would rather them get respect and compensation than hollywood or nfl stars. In fact, all professions like teaching, medicine, science, etc all need ot get more respect in this society and the likes of hollywood need less.
My doctor actually attended my mothers funeral (who was also her patient) that touched my heart.

 
At Saturday, January 26, 2008 5:51:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Has any of your good doctors made some error in your case? How did they handle the error? Did they communicate with you promptly and what did they say? How did you feel about their error and how they responded to it? One of the compaints of those who are suspicious of doctors is that doctors keep errors secret and will not apologize to their patients when the error is discovered and the patient is made aware. ..Maurice.

 
At Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly LOVE my doctor. My doctor works in a cast clinic. I have cracked ankle recently and it's still healing. Every time I get to the hospital or my doctor's office, he greeted me with smile and while I waited in the patient room, he often looked over the results. Then he asks me the usual questions that every doctor might ask, "Does it thur if I do this?" as he twist my ankle. It actually hurts a lot, but at the same moment, he asks me as if I'm the most important human being in his life of all. He is very kind and generous. He is quick and I've never seen him making any errors. Well, actually once, he made a minor error, but then he apologized so sincerly that I cannot be mad at him. And I would never forget him and I would never hate him for any reason. My doctor is the one who can call, the true doctor that can also be my friend at the same time.

 
At Wednesday, August 05, 2009 9:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my doctors though some of them are not nice people. I have had a number of medical problems,live in NYC and I go to the best doctors I can find(through recommendations from other doctors,friends,hospitals and so on) but I am looking for top professionals in their field,not a new best friend. Its certainly more pleasant if the doctor is nice and friendly and kind but Marcus Welby was a tv show and I want someone who is a successful doctor. I had to have an operation several years ago and the doctor was not friendly or warm-but he was brilliant and had a fantastic background in his field and so...I love my doctor!

Joy

 
At Friday, October 30, 2009 10:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello !
my best friend is very in love with her doctor...she has changed so much ,she is suffering and doesn't know what to do to be with him ...
give me an advise,I don't know how to help her...what shoud I tell her? to send him a letter? or to go to the hospital and talk with him face to face?
I wait your adwises...thanks...MARY

 
At Friday, October 30, 2009 1:27:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

For a patient to have a romantic relationship with her doctor is far beyond the accepted professional relationship of a doctor with a patient and poses a definite hazard for both the doctor but also for the patient. For the doctor, such a relationship, if mutual, could lead to a physician losing a license to practice. For the patient, in order to protect his professionalism, he may need to transfer the patient to another physician. State laws may prevent a physician from a romantic relationship with the patient for 2 years or more after leaving the medical management of the doctor. Sorry--but that is the way it is since it is felt that a romantic relationship degrades the possibility for appropriate and safe medical care by the physician for the patient. ..Maurice.

 
At Saturday, October 31, 2009 2:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello !
my best friend is very in love with her doctor...she has changed so much ,she is suffering and doesn't know what to do to be with him ...
give me an advise,I don't know how to help her...what shoud I tell her? to send him a letter? or to go to the hospital and talk with him face to face?
I wait your adwises...thanks...MARY

I forgot to say that it is not her doctor...she was on holiday in another place ,she went to the hospital there and she fell in love with the doctor.

 
At Saturday, October 31, 2009 1:34:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

That makes a difference. If there is no reasonable possibility that the patient will be back to re-establish the doctor-patient relationship that occurred on her holiday, then I suppose that a romantic relationship beginning a few weeks later when neither the patient or the doctor have seen or communicated with each other during that time would be professionally ethical. However, the doctor-patient relationship must have been transient and permanently concluded with no contribution by the doctor subsequently for her care such as writing a renewal prescription.

If your lady friend is wanting the love of the doctor and the doctor doesn't respond, I would advise someone (?you) to talk with her, let her ventilate and give her emotional support. ..Maurice.

 
At Sunday, November 01, 2009 1:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maurice thanks for your answer :) have a nice day !

 
At Monday, July 30, 2012 4:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from an article i read on Transference vs infatuation Part 1
The problem is so common, there's even a name for it: transference. It's when a patient confuses gratitude or compassion for love. Some imagine they are falling in love with the doctor. Sometimes others, if there is a physical nature of the encounter, mistake physical contact for sexual overtures.
As Valerie Gibson, advice Psychologist for the BBC explains, "It's not unusual ... for some women to fall in love with their doctor. This can especially occur to women who have an interest in health and alternative therapies, which is becoming more common, and if their Doctor is sympathetic and also interested in combining these treatments, they often find this to be most appealing. Maybe he's the only man who listens to them, shows an interest in their problems and tries to help them. Often these doctors go beyond the normal. Or maybe when a woman's lonely, or her partner is away, she tends to project her fantasies. In the rare case that a relationship develops, it is usually doomed to failure when the woman realises that it is what the doctor does and his knowledge of the subject that she finds attractive and not the man himself, usually around the 3-9 month period. Often the doctor is older and in reality has no intention of leaving his current life.”
Despite Gibson's reference to women falling in love with their male doctors, the reverse also happens -- a male patient can interpret his gratitude toward his female chiropractor as something less professional. Or, he may merely be trying to assert his masculinity by falling into the old "sex games" mode.
Transference has always been linked primarily with psychologists and other mental health care providers, but chiropractors are increasingly having to deal with the issue as well. Transference is different to infatuation but is often similar.
Is it Just Infatuation?

 
At Monday, July 30, 2012 4:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it Just Infatuation?

So what about infatuation? That’s when you think of someone all the time, you go out of your way to be around him/her, and you begin to centre your priorities around him/her as well, slowly at first but they become more and more important to you to the point you think you are falling in love and what you currently have could not be as good as what could be with this new person. There is history with this person: Maybe a short history, but maybe quite a while. Often this occurs in the Doctor patient relationship, you may even become friends, you both enjoy being together. He/she has counselled you, given you advice, helped you, you have believed in them, you trust them therefore they must be good for you, could you love them you ask yourself. You may daydream about the other and get all crawly in your underwear, and read signals from the other as wanting something more. But is it love? I mean, you’d hate to be wrong about this kind of thing, especially if you have in mind leaving your current relationship, could the grass really be different with this new person? Often people who become infatuated see similar interests in this new person or are the type of character that always wants to know more and is always looking for more, their current partner not giving them the intellectual information and feedback they think they desire on their chosen subject. The subject of the infatuation seems intelligent and offers hope, but when you take that away that is all it is, hope.

Infatuation as we are defining it here, is a static process characterized by an unrealistic expectation of blissful passion with this new friend who often starts out as a professional part of our life such as the Doctor, Counsellor, or Therapist, they really seem to understand you don’t they! These relationships are unfortunately characterized by a lack of loyalty, lack of commitment, lack of reciprocity, from the other party, often their friendship is mistaken for sexual advances and the infatuated party, usually the patient wants to act on her/his infatuation thinking it may be love. The danger is when the party who is not infatuated acts and uses the other for a short term relationship, which for the medical profession seems to occur reasonably often in Britain.
Men seem to be better, in general, in compartmentalizing their lives, thereby putting thoughts of loved ones aside until the mind is free to dwell on life. And yes, there are many exceptions and many ranges within the genders.

Knowing the Difference?

So how do you know? The question, after time, usually after the infatuated parties’ relationships are ruined actually is simple, the answer, however, is not easy to own or accept. And the answer is usually only obvious after the pain which follows the short high at the start.

Though difficult, evaluating how things are going at regular intervals can help to give some direction (and re-direct misdirection) to people who are self-guided toward happiness and success. For those who are on a negative course, people who are unhappy, confused and perhaps self-sabotaging, regular evaluation can point out some hard truths about oneself, and/or about the person you want to take the next step with.
One must accept that all relationships require work and effort from both sides, it is too easy for one party to look elsewhere when they perceive problems in their current relationship, and women especially can become infatuation victims of their own doing. In the long term, often they find that in hindsight their old relationship did offer them the love they wanted but had not seen it before it was too late

 
At Monday, July 30, 2012 4:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Determining the Difference
of Infatuation and love
The answers, and the courage to face the facts is the key to making the determination. In infatuation, your gaze, your thoughts and maybe your world revolves around someone. You have blinders on. It seems that all the world pales in comparison to this persons looks, talents, intelligence, creativity, etc. What you might not see by keeping the blinders on, what can be serious flaws in any relationship, are the destructive traits and behaviours that degrade self esteem and cause some pretty negative effects on ones choices and decisions.

Many have had the experience of looking back at some early romance, in middle or high school perhaps, when we were in love with a special teacher, or camp counsellor. It can be easier to see in retrospect, what you weren’t ready to see at the time. Your thoughts of romance were simply an innocent fantasy: An infatuation that felt like love at the time.

Aside from your age, what was it about you that made you make that mistake. Innocence? Loneliness? A longing to grow up, maybe. But those were things going on in your head. In fact, these feelings had little to do with the actual object of your infatuation (crush). It could be that some of those same feelings and needs exist for you today. For woman this is especially common between the ages of 45-55, when they feel they need love before they grow old. Beware of your own vulnerability, and your own desire to get rescued from that solitary life of the unpaired. In my experience woman are far better off to work on their current relationship if their partner is loves and cares for them. When they do this they usually find that they end up with a satisfying and enjoyable life. (note:woman in violent or abusive relationships are of course always looking for a way out and their infatuation may provide this- this is dealt with later in this book).

In time, the faults that you refuse to see will begin to come to the foreground. You may be infatuated with a rich and powerful person, but as you come to know that person on a more intimate basis, the qualities that intrigued you will begin to fade into the background.

In the case of love, your focus is on your special someone, and that someone exists in the real world. Give and take, compromise and cooperation are characteristics of love relationships. Working toward common goals, sharing dreams and values define the dynamics of a good love relationship. People know each other on a separate and private level than the world at large. This is what we should be striving for.

Bringing it Into Reality

Infatuation can even be thought of as love with only 2 dimensions. With love, that third dimension is reality. So, it is actually your ability to tell what is real in a relationship, versus what is imagined. You love being part of a couple, but is this the person you want to be in a couple with?

Trying to differentiate your love interest from your lust interest is requires a level head and the courage to face the unpleasant. It also requires maturity and the ability to take a step back and survey the big picture. The result is more control and confidence as you stride your way in loves direction.

 
At Monday, July 30, 2012 8:34:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Anonymous from today: Thanks for presenting an interesting discussion of the terms used for the patient/doctor behavior. However, please indicate the full reference to what you read including a web link, if available, so that my other visitors may have access to the entire writing. The source of your extract deserves identification and recognition. ..Maurice.

 
At Saturday, October 12, 2013 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not in love with my doctor; but I fell I am infatuated with him?? Or maybe a crush?? He is not my pc but had a few visits with him and was treated very well. I was happy to go to the visit unlike some others in my lifetime. Everything has been very professional but after the last visit and he had closed my case I left the office felling very sad like I had lost my best friend. I knew I wouldn't be seeing him again. I don't know how to feel about this. These feelings have lasted a few days. I thought about making another appointment just to speak to him about my feelings but I know he doesn't feel that way, and I'm really not a wacked out person. I'm just very sad and don't know how to deal with these feelings.

 
At Sunday, October 13, 2013 9:02:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Anonymous from today: To know what advice to give you, it may help to have a more detailed view of how you feel toward this doctor. And being anonymous on this blog should help you speak freely. With regard to details: does this doctor simply remind you of someone else you knew or know who has similar behaviors or behaviors towards you? Are you now in no personal relationship with someone else and are looking towards developing a persisting relationship with another? How do you look at yourself with regard to your current feelings: ashamed? uncomfortable? sad? inadequate? or what?

Returning immediately to that doctor for a "personal discussion" of your feelings towards him may be not wise until you can more fully define what it is that you really feel and perhaps why. ..Maurice.

 
At Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous from today: Maurice to answer your questions I will try for a more detailed view. I am currently married and have been for 20+ years. I believe the doctor is also married and has a practice with him wife? In all of my visits with my doctor I never saw her.

The doctor does not really remind me of anyone else and if I had meet him under other areas of my life I may not even give him a second look.

As far as my feelings about the doctor I believe at first I had really liked the way he and my treatments were going. He was very informative and he really cared. If he hadn't taken the extra steps working together with another doctor I would still be fighting health issues. I know that's what doctors do. With that sad at the visits I felt really comfortable with him and would tell him most anything. I didn't realize until I left from the last visit I was really starting to realize I wouldn't be seeing and talking to him anymore, that's when I became very sad and felt like my friend was gone. Is this something more??? In my mind maybe I would like that from him. Maybe just a hug, or kiss?? Don't know. Again I'm not a stocker or a crazed person, and I don't think anything would ever come of anything. I believe the doctor would never cross that line, he has always acted very professional and until lately with these feelings I would have never let those thoughts cross my mind, but they are here. What to do, I think about this a lot during the day and night.

 
At Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:48:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Anonymous, I presume you are of female gender. Can you tell me what is the doctor's specialty and what were you treated for? Did the doctor-patient relationship end because your illness was cured or was it because you were to have subsequent followup visits with your other general physician? It may be that this doctor was satisfied that you understood you would have followup management by your other doctors and this "goodbye" was not really any form of abandonment of the patient and didn't require any additional formalities for it to end.

I am tempted to suggest to return to this doctor for a "goodbye" that would be more satisfying to you and you would not continue to feel that some ending is missing. But first can you answer my questions (of course anonymously). ..Maurice.

 

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