One of the problems of practicing medicine in Los Angeles is that the consumer has so many choices. Why is this a problem? Because the average person doesn’t stay long enough with any one practitioner to really see the results manifesting. In Los Angeles, most people tend to jump around from doctor to doctor. The net result is that most people don’t really get the kind of results they could potentially receive.
While there are many reasons to stop seeing your doctor and try someone else, it’s best to really think it over before making the change. Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard from new patients about their former doctors: He may keep you waiting too long in the reception room, may not return calls, may not be coming from a heart space, or may be a poor communicator. He might not welcome a teamwork approach with your other doctors and practitioners. Or you may decide you want to try another type of treatment. Maybe the office is not run efficiently.
Believe me, in my 25 years of medical practice I have heard every reason in the book, both from people stopping treatment with me and also people coming to me from another doctor. Oddly, the reasons for both are frequently the same.
This leads me to believe that part of the problem is with our basic human communication. For any of you who have experienced any amount of therapy, you might know that there is usually an implied contract with your therapist to have a session called “termination,” where you discuss your gains and what you have achieved, and what you hope to achieve by terminating your treatment and working with someone else.
But for some reason, patients don’t usually think of doing that with their doctor. In fact, most patients are too embarrassed for some reason to really be honest with their doctor about why they are terminating treatment.
But I would encourage everyone to try it. For one thing, possibly the very reasons that you are thinking of leaving, have more to do with your own projections onto the doctor than they do with the doctor’s actual shortcomings.
In any event, it’s best to air them in a civil way. No name-calling. No anger. But simply, “I was hoping to get more personalized service”, or “I was hoping the doctor would have spent more time with me,” or “I was hoping the doctor would come from a more feeling place for me.”
Whatever the expectation that was not met, this will give you as the patient, the ability to truly look at your own participation in having created the process that is occurring. This helps to insure it won’t happen again with the next doctor.
Your relationship with your doctor is like any other relationship. And you may have noticed that you keep repeating the same errors and creating the same problems in going from any relationship to the next relationship. This is because we all tend to repeat our negative patterns until we make them conscious. Making a commitment to work with your doctor over the long run and to communicate your frustrations and to try and see you part in creating the problems, will help you to heal.
Now, homeopathy has something special to say about this. In homeopathic treatment it is very common to become angry with your doctor. This is because the homeopathic treatment is specifically designed to dredge up and clear out your old patterns as it’s unpeeling the layers of the onion. In doing so, it is common to project onto the doctor the “bad guy”. You may feel depressed, or that migraine headache might come back. These are common occurrences with homeopathy, as the body-mind-spirit is cleansing and “back-tracking” over its old patterns.
In other words, it’s best, if you want to break your negative patterns, to set aside the time, before moving on to your next doctor, to first schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your current feelings, airing your complaints. By doing this, you can be more certain that in fact you are not projecting some of your own issues onto your doctor.
Doctors are human, not perfect, and not capable of always giving you what you want. But open and honest, non-blaming communication, will often go a long way to providing you with the services you are needing.
After all, if we can’t sit and speak openly with our own doctors and healers, whom can we do it with? It’s got to start somewhere. Better here than across nation states. If we can communicate with each other, one on one, that is a start for the new paradigm of relationships between nations, races, religions, and all the other differences we imagine with have. After a good talk, we often find our needs are not so different as we thought. But that we were just projecting a lot of our own fears, past rejections, emptiness, and desire, onto the other person. Most doctors just want to be loved, accepted, and acknowledged for who they are, the same way that the patient wants this.
Here are the most Typical Relationship Phases that Occur in the Relationships between Patient and Doctor: (note that these phases may not always occur in a linear fashion, and that they may skip or jump around or repeat at various points in your treatment.)
1. Honeymoon: This is the phase at the beginning where both doctor and patient are on their best behavior. The doctor may be doing his best to make a good impression and to create bonding. The “feel good” phase.
2. Testing Phase: This is usually the next phase, where the patient may miss an appointment, decide to skip some appointments because they are feeling so much better. The patient may not follow her diet plan, or not take her herbs or homeopathic remedy to test the doctor and see his reactions. The patient will test to see how long they can stop treatment and still have the same effects as during the honeymoon phase.
3. Fear of Rejection: After missing some appointments, becoming irregular in their treatment, or not following the doctors advice on taking their supplements, following their diet or doing the exercise they had committed to, the patient often is afraid the doctor will reject them and either not work with them, or tell them they are in some way not measuring up to the expectations he had or the patient had of themselves.
4. Compromise – both internal and external: At this stage the patient learns to not be so self-critical and critical of the doctor and his office. The doctor may have not measured up to your expectations in every way, perhaps he was late, rushed, or forgot something you told him at a previous visit. Or the patient may realize they cannot keep their commitment of weekly appointments or that the proposed diet plan or exercise plan was not realistic.
5. Adjustment of Expectations: This is an internal and external phase usually, with the patient deciding it’s ok that the doctor is only human and not perfect in every way they had wanted him to be. And that also, it’s normal and healthy to miss appointments, not keep to the proposed diet 100% of the time, etc. Expectations are re-calibrated, so that over the longer term, the relationship with the Greater Self and with Doctor, can have some longer-term stability.
6. Stability: Treatment may get boring; with the patient feeling he is not making much progress. The treatment effects may have reached a plateau, and stabilized. This stage often sees patients moving on to another doctor. But it’s the ability to hang in there and go through the boredom and seeming lack of progress that actually signifies a mature healing relationship and offers the greatest opportunity for healing. This is a necessary stage in any relationship with your doctor. It’s important to keep coming until the next break through is achieved.
7. Healing Phase: After the boredom of Phase 6 / Stability, is when the actual healing can occur. The healing that occurs before this phase is on a more superficial level. It’s during the long term Healing Phase, which follows the Stability Phase that deeper healing work can occur. Most true healing occurs after months or years of working with the same doctor / healer. And like life, it often occurs unexpectedly. It can sneak up on you. In fact, you might not actually realize you moved to the next level of health, until months or years later, when you look back in retrospect.