Is it ever ok to date a patient?

In case you were wondering, but the short answer is no.

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  • Anonymous

    Interesting to note that the article presumed this is male physicians having a relationship with one of their female patients.

    Surely there must be a female physician or two who’s had the hots for a male patient.

    By and large, the medical world seems to be very sexist.

  • Anonymous

    So where are you going to draw the line? Never be friends with any patients, either? Hell of a life for a doctor, I’d think, to have to spend his/her life socializing with no one but other doctors… not to mention that this “be suspicious of everyone” perspective enforces a myopia that would make all basic human interactions very difficult. Will you spend your entire life behind clinic walls? Geez, lighten up…

  • Anonymous

    It’s against the code of ethics for a doc to sleep with patients, they spell it out pretty clearly. Sorry if it spoils all the fun. Surely, a doc can get a date from someone who isn’t paying him/her?

  • Anonymous

    The physician mentioned should stop thinking with his cock and start thinking with his wallet…it’s not worth the potential nightmare of a lawsuit to bang some piece of ass patient.

    It would just cost a few hundred a pop for a high class asian massage or private duty tart to get his rocks off…just have to watch out for the law enforcement!

  • Anonymous

    I think it is interesting that crazy doc displays a seemingly easy relationship with prostitutes.

    What about dermatologists. If your only obligation to the patient is to scrape a barnacle and you’ll never see them again and they ask you out, why not?

    I can see if you are their psychiatrist or primary care doctor.

    What I think is more irresponsible is if you approach a patient sexually for only sexual gratification. I’m suppose I’m rationalizing, but the blanket statement of never doing that just seems too absolute.
    b

    p.s.–I married the OT, not a patient or nurse

  • Anonymous

    The Code of Ethics says no. The licensing boards say no. It’s also illegal in some states. They aren’t really going to care about your reasons why it happened.

  • diora

    I am with anon at 7:23.
    Obviously if it is a question of sex or a short-term fling or if one of the people is married, it is better not to get involved. But what if both people are looking for something serious and feel there is a potential? It may be easy to find someone to sleep with, but it is very difficult to find the right person – something that married people don’t grasp.

    Also, it is one thing if it is an ongoing long-term professional relationship, but if it is of a type where a patient only comes once or twice a year for checkups and can easily switch doctors; or if it is a short-term thing (dermatologist example above), why would terminating the professional relationship and trying dating for a little while (and taking it very slowly, becoming friends first, etc.) be a problem? If there is a potential for something serious, surely two people owe it to themselves to find out? Assuming both are interested.

    What most married people don’t understand is that it is very difficult to find the right man (I assume the same applies to men looking for women). So if you find someone you feel has potential, you don’t want to give it up. Because you might just not find anyone else. Especially if you are over 35.

  • Anonymous

    The Code of Ethics says no. The licensing boards say no. It’s also illegal in some states. They aren’t really going to care about your reasons why it happened.
    Yes, but do they mention current patients or ‘everyone who’s been your patient for however minor problem however long ago in the past’?

  • Anonymous

    Diora, I guess the physician has to decide if it’s worth the risk. Because if it ends badly, they’re in a hell of mess.

  • Anonymous

    Read up on the “maintaining proper boundaries” classes those that get caught may be attending.

    http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=cph&doc=743

  • Anonymous

    There is an inherent inequality in the professional relationship between a doctor and a patient. Society grants certain powers to doctors (prescribe drugs, examine and treat one’s body, proscribe certain behaviors, etc.)which, even if the doc is unaware of it, could influence how patients react. If even one patient’s trust in you to act like a doc is challenged by your come-on, you have let society down.

  • Diora

    Anon at 11:03 – the link talks about ongoing patient-doctor relationships. About former relationships it says “2) sexual contact or a romantic relationship with a former patient may be unethical under certain circumstances, “. I don’t know what the circumstances are, but I imagine they deal with deatails of professional relationsip. It doesn’t say it is always unethical. Same about inequality mentioned by 11:08. How would, for example, dating a dermatologist you met at a party or through a singles website 4 years after you went to him to get a wrinkle cream prescription be unethical? I’d be surprised if he/she even remembers the patient.

    Something I am curious about. I am not at all sure that any of my doctors would recognize me outside of the office (not that I am interested in any of them – one is a female and one is too old). Do you think that if you were to meet one of your patients at a party you’d recognize them? Because this’d create a whole different situation – meeting someone outside and then find out some months later that he/she was a patient.

  • RJS

    “Something I am curious about. I am not at all sure that any of my doctors would recognize me outside of the office (not that I am interested in any of them – one is a female and one is too old). Do you think that if you were to meet one of your patients at a party you’d recognize them? Because this’d create a whole different situation – meeting someone outside and then find out some months later that he/she was a patient.”

    While it’s an ongoing joke in medical circles that doctors see too many patients to remember, the fact of the matter is that this might be the case, and it might not be.

    My situation is a bit different in that I’m not a physician, but I see probably a 100-150 patients in a given shift at the pharmacy, and I know a good 80% of them. By name. And these aren’t just the people that come in once or twice a week. These are people that I only see once every 3 months or so.

    So I see more people on a daily basis than a doctor, I see them more often, but for less time. So it probably balances out.

    And I have met patients in social settings before, where I didn’t know I was going to run into them, but it hasn’t ever been awkward. Perhaps the informality of the pharmacy allows me to form relationships with them outside purely medicine, but it’s never a problem having a conversation from person-to-person.

    It’s actually kind of nice. You get to meet people outside of their medical issues and they get to meet you outside of your white coat. Human-to-human. It helps to have the equivalent of what would be considered a “good bedside manner” though. I find building a relationship with someone outside their medical issues helps build trust when it comes to medical issues as well. It’s a nice little constructive positive-feedback loop.

  • Anonymous

    What if you suspect he kind of likes you? How do you approach that situation?

  • Anonymous

    …And has there ever been an incident where a patient does end up dating their psychiatrist; and he doesn’t end up losing his job in the process? :|

  • Anonymous

    I did not realize that it was against the law for a physician to date a former patient. I was a patient when it was apparent that there was an enormous chemistry between us. I switched physicains so that someday we can possibly get together. We have talked about the attraction and therefore I made the choice to change to another doctor and keep things on the low low forever.

  • Anonymous

    I currently am VERY interested in one of my doctors and the feeling is mutual, although neither has acted on it or spoken of it. I am not stupid or being taken advantage of in any way. It’s just chemistry.
    On the other hand, I’ve had a doctor let his fingers do the walking where they didn’t belong .. a TOTALLY different situation!! I have no problem with a doctor asking me out, but groping is another matter entirely.
    Perhaps there should be a way for the patient to make a statement that they are entering this relationship of their own free will. I can see the sense of switching doctors as emotions may enter into the treatment otherwise. I’d be willing to do that.

  • Anonymous

    Is it ok to date a patient, if there was only one appointment? Is it ok to date a patient, if there was only four appointments?

  • Anonymous

    Is it ok to date a patient, if there was only one appointment? Is it ok to date a patient, if there were only four appointments?

  • Ali

    Situation: Male doctor and female patient. It’s the initial visit. female patient is hitting on me and I’m interested but trying my best to be professional. patient asks for my phone number and I inform her that I can’t see her outside of the clinic because she is my patient. Patient says that I’m not her physician anymore, and asks for my number again. So I gave it to her…now I’m plane confused! Should I not see her…get her to put in writing the termination of our physician-patient relationship…or get the temination in writing and not see her for a month or two and then contact her. comments…..?

  • Anonymous

    I see that is not ok to date your doctor but once you no longer their patient they should be able to date who they choose.

  • Anonymous

    To Ali…get the termination in writing and then wait a month before seeing each other, then GO FOR IT FULL SPEED AHEAD!

    I’m about to start dating my former surgeon and can’t wait for the ride to begin!…he’s absolutely gorgeous and the chemistry between us is amazing! No one is going to tell either of us who we can or cannot date!

    Good luck to you!

  • Anonymous

    I’m in the similar situation in that there was chemistry from the moment I met my Doctor/Surgeon his attitide towards me was more casual and flirtatious than professional at times. And any opportunity he had for physical contact he took without without completing crossing the line..although coming close on a few occasions.
    I didn’t have the guts to call hom on it in the office, but tried to make contact on via internet if he was interested in meeting, without a response but am now realizing the risk involved and that I should have said something in person. Will try on our next appointment and ask to terminate.. just can’t find an answer for what the “cooling off” period is in the state of new york?

  • Anonymous

    Im like 30 years old and I had to call my gynecologist for some personal update informatin. He ask me if I would like to go play golf one day due to my mentioning of playing golf in our conversation. Today he called me to give me his cell phone number because I told him I dont feel confortable calling the office all the time. He has been my doctor since 2005 and about 22 years older than me. I’m attracted to him and he knows Im getting a divorce. Is playing golf just a friendly move on his part? Or is he attracted to me as well?

  • Janice

    My father was my mother’s ER doctor 30 years ago. she broke her arm horseback riding and the rest is history. People are entirely too uptight and really most doctors needn’t obsessed. There are very few who look like George Clooney. MOST look like George Costanza. *shivers*