Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Doctor or casual?

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone at work who happens to go to the same psychiatrist I do, which is something of a coincidence since she works in a huge city at an enormous teaching hospital. However, she also has a reputation for helping the people who are hardest to treat, so I guess finding her isn't so hard.

Anyway, she was somewhat shocked that I call this doctor by her first name. I have for a very long time and nobody seems to think much of it. She certainly doesn't. I don't know how or why I call her "Sandy" but it seems more in line with the relationship. I have to literally trust her with my life; formality seems a little odd in that case. She is someone I see every 3-4 weeks and this is the way it has been for 4 years and will continue to be for a very long time. I spend a lot of time with her, not just the quick 15 minutes of a regular doctor's appointment.

The whole conversation yesterday was odd; any time I have talked to this woman it has felt like she had some "worse competition" going, and now it was the "I need Sandy more" competition. It bothered me.

But anyway, am I totally odd? What do others call their psychiatrists?


Sarah said...

I call my doctor Scuba Steve around my friends but to his face I call him Dr. Dick. When he leaves me voicemail messages he always uses his first name to leave them. It's kinda amusing to me.

I wonder if you call her "Sandy" because professionally you two are along the same level and you're both just comfortable like that. I dunno. :)

Just Me said...

The professional thing would make sense except that I have yet to call a doctor I work with by his or her first name. At least not that I remember.

There is a huge level of professional courtesy in our relationship, and she has always encouraged me to know as much as possible and question everything. Being treated like I have the background to understand this is REALLY important to me because I do.

However, this works both ways. The psychologist and I had to work this out because it is too easy to go the other way and wind up with problems. I can tell stories and laugh about patients I've seen, but I also can closely identify with them and I can be hurt or defensive when someone who isn't mentally ill says essentially the same thing. So that is kind of a rule, that we'll share similarities of our professions, but he is supposed to be careful to keep the equality from being too present because I need him to be the doctor.

Although I don't call him doctor either.....