Emotional toll of being a doctor

A feeling of rejection

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 20 June 2022
Topics: Your wellbeing
Eileen Barber is a retired sexual health consultant. She writes under a pseudonym.

My husband was terminally ill. We experienced several hospitals, one of which was part of the trust that I had worked for until a hasty retirement, as he became sicker.

The technical care from specialists was excellent, care at ward level was variable and communication between hospitals almost non-existent. But what hurt somehow was that there was no acknowledgement that I had recently been part of the trust, it felt like being rejected from home.

I was not asking for better care for him than for anyone else, just a feeling of 'welcome back', and that after nearly 20 years as a consultant I hadn't ceased to exist.

I realise that I was mourning my job and my husband at the same time, and may not have been quite rational. But isn't dealing with irrational emotions part of healing? And it can be done, the Macmillan team managed it!