I've been involved in a long-term relationship with my physician.
Apparently, doctor/patient relationships turning personal are a lot more common than people realize.
There’s a downside to it though.
We cannot be seen together in public and cannot be as "out" about our relationship as we’d like, for obvious reasons.
I like keeping things private, but having to sneak around can also put a strain on things and makes me wonder if it's really worth the trouble.
When do you know when it's time to throw in the towel?
End it now. You’re sneaking around because you both already know that he could lose his right to practice medicine since you’re an ongoing patient of his.
And you’re already doubting the value of hanging onto such a strained situation.
Many legal jurisdictions have laws against doctor-patient sexual activity, while others have guidelines about not starting a sexual relationship even with a former patient.
“A relationship between a doctor and a patient is never really equal” the president of the U.S. General Medical Council had stated in 2006.
In Canada, doctor-patient romances are prohibited by law through provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons.
In 2017, the discipline panel of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, revoked a psychiatrist’s license for starting a romantic relationship one month after the end of their doctor-patient relationship, despite that he intended to marry his lover.
Decisions are particularly stringent if psycho-therapy or counselling was part of the doctor-patient relationship, or if sexual abuse can be claimed, even if there was consent, due to a power imbalance.
Cases are treated less stringently in the United States, except when sexual abuse is involved.
Even if you’d stated deep love for this man, I’d still advise taking a break.
Find out exactly how this union will be treated professionally and consider the likely effects on both of you.
Is he willing to give up his medical career for you?
Or, has it been the excitement of a secret liaison that’s fuelled this romance… until now?
You’ll soon know what to do.
We dated for almost a year. I'm 29, he's 34, and amazing.
But I escalate little annoyances into huge fights where I’m crying and accusing him of not loving me, when it's not true.
After one too many times, we've broken up.
It’s only been for a few days, but I know I’m wrong for expecting him to validate my self-confidence when I had none.
I’ve started counselling because I love him so much.
But he says he has doubts that we’ll be happy in the future and we’ll keep having the same fights over and over.
How can I get him to undo this breakup? He loves me too and neither of us can stop crying.
Focus on what you learn in counselling and stay with it.
Just telling him you’ve changed isn’t enough. He has to see your commitment to yourself.
This is the time for you to learn why you bring insecurity, fears and accusations into dealing with someone you love.
It’ll help you boost your self-confidence so that you can deal with him (or anyone else) as an equal in any future relationship, and not retreat into tears and fears.
Tell him you’re working on this, then back off from pleading to get back together. Let more days pass before you contact him.
If he truly loves you, he’ll reach out.
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife’s complaint about her husband’s ex who threatens him, and has wrongly reported him “missing” with their child (June 5):
Reader – “I think she’s hateful and vindictive, and doing all she can to hurt her ex-husband.
“He’s going to have to be extremely careful, as women like her have falsely accused men of violence or of sexual abuse of the child, as has been proven in court.
“Some ex-wives have even coached the child to make false accusations against the father.
“I agree with your advice that this man should speak to police and family court, but he must ensure that he’s not hit with false accusations from her. It’ll completely ruin a man's life.”
Ellie – In such cases, everyone loses, including the child who’s pressured to choose between parents. I suggested going to police and court IF ever convinced she’s a danger to the child, or the father and step-mother.
Tip of the day:
A doctor-patient “romance” crosses professional lines in many jurisdictions, especially if seen, legally, as sexual abuse due to a power imbalance.