When A Patient Asks You Out On A Date

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23 Jul 2016 - General

So a few months ago I did a simple teeth cleaning on a patient, in the multi-specialty clinic that I worked for. I noticed he had heavy accumulation of plaque on the lingual surface of his anterior teeth and I explained that it's because of his severely crooked teeth. I asked, "Have you ever considered getting braces?" And he said, "I have. I almost got it too, but then I changed my mind. But I really wanted." We talked about the rates and then he asked if I had a clinic outside and I said, "Yes, I do". When I finished, he asked for my card and said that he'd think about the braces and then he'd let me know. 

That night I got a message request on Facebook (only friends can message me)--it was him. "Doc please add me", then he reminded me who he was--proceeded with the normal flattery and said, "I had so many questions about the treatment but I was mesmerized by you, so I lost my words". I laughed because I never really know what to say when these things happen. But then he goes, "I'd really like to see you again, outside your clinic. Let me know when you're free. Let's hangout, maybe for coffee?" I was really surprised because I just treated this patient that afternoon and he's already asking me out for coffee. Anyway, I said NO and I gave my reason. I tried to be really nice about it because he's a patient and I'm often conflicted when it comes to these things. But I may have been too nice because a few days after he asked me a second time and then a third---afterwhich I said: "Oh my gosh. No means, NO". He finally got it.  

I feel I've done something wrong but I also think that he's too forward---and probably does not have respect for ME or boundaries. I don't know. I've had patients that liked me, before, but never someone this forward. I'm never rude to patients, even when they're difficult, but this one was just asking for it. Anyway, has this happened to you---and have you gone out on a date with a patient before?

P.S. I have gone out on a date with a patient--but not this one (now, that's a different story). 


Is it illegal in Philippine for doctor to have a romantic relationship with the patient? In Singapore, it is illegal. There were a few cases of doctors been penalized for having intimate relationship with their patients. The rationale is, doctor may be taking advantage of a relatively vulnerable patient during a patient-doctor encounter. So far all the penalized doctors are male. I had this patient who offered me her daughter and asked me to go out on a date with the latter. She even hinted she ...
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@Jennifer. Yes I have a FB page for my own clinic but I was at the other clinic I worked for and when he asked for my card, I expected he would text me--but he searched for me on Google/Facebook. I was not expecting any of that at all. Back in the clinic he was nice, polite and I didn't feel at all that he liked me. And then he finds me on FB and he transforms into a creepy man.

@Marinelle. Yes quite creepy. But I've blocked him now so that's over. Anyway, your story's ...
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That sounds creepy Maria. I had one patient who has stage 4 cancer with metastasis to the spine. Initially when I saw him, he was paralyzed on both legs. He had to use a wheelchair to be able to move around. We operated on him to stabilize and decompress the spinal cord by removing accessible tumoral tissue. Three weeks after surgery, he began ambulating normally with minimal assistance. He was so happy and in one of my morning rounds, he asked me if we can have dinner and coffee even if its jus...
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Oh I feel you there. I do my best to keep them from getting to the asking me out on a date part. I would get compliments which are fine until they try to turn me into some giggling school girl which won't happen in the situation where I am treating the patient. Can you believe someone was doing this to me while I was performing an incision and drainage procedure on an abscess in his buttocks?! I also have that problem of being too nice and being unable to say no to people but I do my best to...
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@Tarah, Actually that first night when he messaged me and asked me out I already felt awkward, so I said NO right away. I really thought he got the message. But yeah, see, that's what I thought too. I felt he was TOO CONFIDENT, he thinks he can just sweep me off my feet like that. If he went for the braces, just to see me, I'd have considered---just kidding. I didn't like him at all.

@Ziwei, I know. I was caught in the middle. I told you I never know what to do in these sit...
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Yeah you did the right thing giving him a flat no and explaining to him the reasons. However, I feel you should not have accepted him in your facebook but offer to explain the procedure through my formal means. I know you are trying to be really nice to the patient but he is calculative. Asking for name card, lying to you to get you accept him in face book and stalking you online. If he is really into you, he would have asked you face to face. He would not have lied to you to get you accept him ...
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