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How close is too close with your doctor?


Doctor meets patient

If you have a family doctor, or see a few other doctors on a regular basis, it is very likely that you have established some form of relationship. That relationship must always have very clear boundaries, and should always remain professional.

If certain lines are crossed, it becomes something else, and can no longer be defined as a doctor-patient relationship.

Doctors are bound by strict ethics which must be upheld at all times. Patients too, are bound by unwritten social norms and behaviour.

It is this two-way process that inherently protects this bond from veering off professional path. Inappropriate social relationships of this nature do happen; the extreme is when they get sexual.

It is easy to see how professional boundaries can be breeched. You trust doctors with your health and share intimate details with them confidentially. You sometimes need the most intimate parts of your body examined, thus heightening a trusting professional relationship.

Both of you are only humans, and sometimes odd thoughts can creep in. Any such ideas must immediately be nipped in the bud, or they will get you into a regrettable path.

Who is to blame?

Doctors can abuse their privileged position and make inappropriate passes at patients. It is your duty to resist any such attempts, and remind them of their ethical obligations. You could also walk away from their practice or complain to a medical board.

You too can initiate an inappropriate relationship in all manner of ways. Your doctor should sense this and stop it. In the end, it does not really matter who starts what, bottom line is: It should never happen.

Once professionalism is compromised, health judgment gets clouded; symptoms may not be completely evaluated and treatment will likely end up being sub-optimal.

You will no longer be seeing your doctor just because you are unwell, but because you are craving for something entirely different. You will rapidly descend onto a path that may eventually ruin your health, and your doctor’s career.

Keep it professional

Take these steps to avoid getting too close to your doctor.Limit your interactions to professional needs and avoid deliberate social encounters as much as possible. Your doctor should do the same. If they fall short, they risk losing their medical license.

What you have is a relationship built on professional trust and confidentiality. When creepy temptations come along, remind yourself you are there to seek healthcare. Both you and your doctor should know better than to convert a professional relationship into an amorous adventure.


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