The chief complaint of many medicalcouples is, "We're not communicating."I like to equate thismarital symptom with a fever. When apatient has a fever, my goal is to find thecause and institute treatment.
Communication troubles are not uncommonin physician marriages. Wecommunicate with our patients, colleagues,staff, and friends very differentlythan with our spouses. There is tremendousmystery in marriage, and in no otherrelationship are we so vulnerable. Thishelps explain our headaches andheartaches when things aren't going sowell at home. If you are a physician in acommitted relationship who wondersabout communication, here are someimportant questions to ask yourself:
If you answered yes to any of thesequestions, don't despair. You can domore to improve things at home thanyou realize. In my next column, I willdiscuss how to put some "oomph" inyour communication.
Michael F. Myers, a clinicalprofessor in the Department ofPsychiatry at the University ofBritish Columbia in Vancouver,Canada, is the author of Doctors'Marriages: A Look at the Problemsand Their Solutions (Plenum Pub Corp;1994) and How's Your Marriage?: A Book forMen and Women (American Psychiatric Press;1998). He is the past president of the CanadianPsychiatric Association and welcomes questionsor comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.