T Nation

Professional Prurience


How do you ask the patient you are treating if she would like to come by your house later?...without sounding like you do this to every patient you treat who looks cute?...and without sounding like you are unprofessional?

I am sure this can relate to all careers in some way...so how do you interact with the opposite sex in the one place where you aren't supposed to?


The only method that's ever worked for me without getting in trouble was to ask her if she would like to meet me and a few other co-workers for drinks after work. I'm not sure if that would apply to your situation though.

I've tried being a little more direct, like asking them out to lunch or dinner, but most of the time they've politely declined or said something along the lines of that they don't like to date co-workers.

That's been my experience anyway...


I have let at least 2 TENS slip past me because I wasn't sure how to handle the situation.

I guess it would help if I did go out to bars or clubs, but I don't. Therefore, most of the ones I see are either at the store, the gym, or at work.


Perhaps wait for a short time to pass after you have finished treating her,then contact her?

It has been my experience that the passage of short interval makes the other party aware that one has given the situation some thought and consideration prior to acting on the impulse.

Hope that helps.


I hear you. It's getting harder for me since I don't really drink that much anymore and I'm not a clubber. I also don't drink coffee, so what am I supposed to suggest as a casual activity? There are a few girls at the gym I'm interested in, but I really don't know how to approach that situation myself. I'm not wild about making my gym an uncomfortable place to be if things don't work out.

One of the co-workers I asked out in the past was particularly frustrating because she told me had we not been co-workers, she would have been interested. I tried to get her to quit. :slight_smile:


answer: you don't


This seems like good advice, you may want to mention you would be interested in seeing her after the treatment and get the number from her, not her file. The only thing I have to add is you might want to invite her to something more public than your house. Maybe an outside concert or festival? I am sure there is a chili-fest somewhere coming up.


That's been my take on it up to this point...but...TENS.

In fact, one wasn't a dime...more like a buck and a quarter. This is unfair.


I agree that letting a little time pass might be a good idea. Also, do you know anything about this woman's habits or hangouts? If you do, you can always try to arrange a 'chance' encounter. Maybe that's a little too stalker-ish though. I've had success with bumping into a woman outside of the normal setting I see them in.


Send flowers and a gentlemanly note to her house saying something about you had been thinking about her since she was in and you honestly didn't know of a more proper way to approach her which would be the truth. It's been about a million years since I was in a position anything like this, but that's along the lines of what I'd do. It would be no mystery that her address is registered with the office. This seems to me to be the least easily misunderstood method.


My initial answer would be the same as belligerent's: you don't.

But if you just don't want "no" for an answer, then I'd agree with Neuromancer. Let some time pass, and then contact her while making clear that the call is not for professional reasons.

My opinion is that it's very unprofessional to hit on women while at work or while wearing your "professional hat".

Above all, I would strongly recommend against asking women out, even discreetly, while on the job. If nothing else, wait until you leave the office.


This honestly sounds like a good idea.


Well first I'd have to ask what kind of vibe did you get from her? Since this is your career, is the risk worth it? In my job I am surrounded by attractive women, so I have to be as professional as possible to the point of being antisocial so that there is never a misunderstanding. However, every now and again, I do come across someone who shows interest in me and I take it from there.


CLEAR interest...and my response is also to come across as anti-social or completely disinterested. I don't want to risk anything at all just for a hook up. I think I limit myself by not going out as much as most of the people I hang out with.

They go to clubs every single weekend...and sometimes during the week. That's all they do. That lifestyle has its place, but it just isn't me.


I could never trust a client/insured's sencerity if they flirted with me. But, I've never hesitated to flirt back a little (not to the point where I could get in trouble) and I just leave it in their court.

I had one client ask that I call her when her claim was settled. It took everything in me to not call her. She was absolutely stunning. Made my heart beat through my chest. But, I just couldn't do it. Too risky in my profession. It's grounds for firing in my industry.

To X, is it something that could get you fired? I dont see it being unehtical so I say you go for it. Keep it under wraps so your colleagues dont think you are unprofessional and just dont make a habit out of it.


I think it's definitely a boom or bust tactic. You're either in like Flynt, or she'll forever think you're a creepy stalker.

If I were doing this, I'd send one or two flowers rather than a whole bouquet, and I'd get advice from the people at the flower shop as to what to send.

If I couldn't get any good advice, I'd send one white rose with a short note. One rose because you just met, a rose so that she doesn't misinterpret the message into "Thank you for your business" or "I love you like a grandmother!", and a white rose because I think red roses are more suited for established relationships.

I once worked in a garden center a long time ago, which is why I have even the slightest idea about what messages women get from plants.



1) Ask you State Licensing Board about how to properly begin a personal relationship ( THUS ENDING ANY AND ALL PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND CONTACTS! ) with a patient. They don't expect health care providers to be monks; but once you "compromise" the "Dr./Patient" relationship, they expect that relationship to end completely.

You don't so even give that person 12-Hour Dristan for a cold.

They will be more than happy to discuss it with you without any prejudice or penalty. "Wing-it" and you're toast.

2) Once you have made any personal contact WHATSOEVER, you have to IMMEDIATELY and IN WRITING, and place IN THE CHART and send as Certified Letter to the patient, indicating that the Dr./Patient relationship you both had has to end.

I've known physicians who just made a personal phone call to a patient, and were reported to their Boards as making the patient "uncomfortable". Now, reporting doesn't mean any action will be taken; but you have to take the time to respond to the complaint.

This all may sound like a "hassle"; but not really. It's just that Licensing Boards hold the Dr./Patient Relationship as almost Sacred.



You don´t.




If it's that clear then I would go with Trib's recommendation...flower's might be a little too forward...perhaps a call on the weekend...is this a repeat client?, if so maybe wait for the follow-up visit to know for sure. I feel you on the clubbing though, I hate clubs and stopped drinking so I'm rarely out these days.


In almost all States, "You Don't" if you OR the patient are married.

"You can, with stipulations" if you and the patient are a) single AND b) have officially severed the Dr./Patient relationship.