It’s You and Not Me: Reasons Why I’m Breaking Up With My Doctor


I’ve been feeling like I’m walking on eggshells around my doctor, so I think it’s time that we see other people.

I’ve been unhappy for a while, maybe even depressed. I just can’t communicate well. I feel like my feelings aren’t recognized.

Our meetings seem superficial and awkward. I’m afraid to open up for fear of being rejected. I don’t feel like a priority. Sometimes I know I have an idea that makes sense and it’s ignored or dismissed.

There are times when I reach out and get no response. I look forward to the comfort when we meet only to be disappointed.

It’s time I break up with my doctor.

I’m not a patient, I’m a person. My doctor has decided to take on my case, but I am not my case so herein lies a potential problem.

I’ve had many relationships with physicians. That’s what 36 years of cancer survivorship will do for you. I’ve met and learned a great deal about what matter most when you get involved in this intimacy. For me, it’s compassion. Of course, my doctor must be well-versed in his or her craft, but they need to hear me, they need to know me, and they need to care.

“Who cares if they aren’t kind or don’t have a good bedside manner? It’s the job they can do that matters most isn’t it?” my boyfriend questioned me.

Not for me. If I have a question or I am worried I want my doctor to notice. I want him or her to take that extra moment like my wonder cardiologist does to say, “Does what I’m saying make sense to you?” “Yes,” I have a say and he wants to hear it. More than that, he is oftentimes interested in my take on an issue and recognizes that I addressed something he did not. His ego is left by the side of the curb, making my cardiologist a willing participant in my care standing by my side.

As I read a pathology report, I am confused at the wording. “Definitive diagnosis. No definitive diagnosis.” Why is it worded that way instead of just saying “no carcinoma?” I ask my current doctor. We are already on shaky ground from past conversations where she didn’t consider my needs and went ahead with her own protocol which hurt and made me angry.

Her answer to my current query, “You have to trust me as the doctor to interpret your pathology.” Why can’t she just tell me what it means? Why do I have to feel like I’m being disrespectful, a burden or walking on eggshells for somehow at fault for wanting to know more?!

I’m feeling nervous now. My obsessive-compulsive part of my brain that is used to following patterns and rituals to keep myself well is making me uneasy about standing up to this doctor who got me the treatment I needed in the first place and saved me from surgery. I had so much gratitude towards her at that point, and I’m feeling guilty for my thoughts on how disappointed I am with her at this stage.

But I’m unhappy and that is what it comes down to in any relationship. Is this person bringing more negatives than positives to the table? Is she helping me or making me more stressed? Do I feel comfortable with her? Am I happy?

The answer is no and although no relationship is easy to end, it’s time to break up and explore other possibilities that will allow me the happiness, stability and consistency from a partner (which is what your doctor should be) that I deserve.

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