I have trust issues, but then, I think everyone does. We all grow up with people disappointing us and breaking our trust. It’s just a part of becoming an adult.
But unfortunately, all relationships are based on trust, and this includes one with a doctor. It’s essential to be able to trust what your doctor says and does. You have to be able to believe in what he’s saying in order to try treatments that are often unpleasant and might make you feel worse before they make you feel better.
But doctors do a lot of things to break that trust, sometimes because they have to and sometimes simply because they do. So how’s a patient to get over broken trust in a relationship with a doctor?
Doctors Breaking Trust
There are so many ways for doctors to break trust and it all depends on your relationship expectations. For example, if a doctor fails to tell you about side effects and then a medication makes you very sick, you might feel that trust has been broken. Or being committed to an institution without your consent can easily feel like broken trust, even when admission is absolutely necessary.
And when trust is broken with a doctor, it may spill into relationships with every doctor, so even a doctor in the future can suffer from the sins committed in the past. And let’s not forget, doctors also have to be able to trust their patients. They have to trust you will take the medication and that you will be honest with them. This too can hamper a doctor-patient relationship.
A Patient Needs to Trust a Doctor
But you need to be able to trust your doctor. No matter what else is happening, you have to have a basic trust that your doctor has your best interest at heart. If you don’t have that, how can you ever successfully work together?
Learning to Trust a Doctor
As the saying goes, trust is earned, but don’t expect a doctor to jump through hoops to prove their trustworthiness. No, instead it’s more like walking out onto a frozen pond. At first you take a few tentative steps where the ice is the thickest and most supportive and then, over time, you find yourself skating from bank to bank, confident the ice will hold your weight.
So start small with a doctor. As my friend would say, trust but verify. Take the doctor at his word, but check on what he’s saying. Look information up on the internet. Ask questions. Do not blindly walk wherever he tells you to. Take baby steps.
This will give you a chance to find out who your doctor is and what type of relationship expectations you both have. Maybe you’re made for each other. Maybe you’re not. By treading gently, you can step back when the ice cracks instead of when you’re engulfed in icy water.
If the Trust Has Been Broken
And if you feel the trust has already been broken be open about it. He can’t express his viewpoint or explain why he behaved the way he did if you don’t give him the chance. And the doctor may not know you feel the trust has been broken and he can’t work to fix something he doesn’t know isn’t working.
And if nothing else, when things are rocky, remind yourself that your doctor didn’t go through a decade of schooling to mess with you. He likely did it because he wants to help people and he likely wants to help you too. You both just need to find the best way to make that happen.