Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Patient Has Crush On Doctor, Is Crushed To Be Referred to Another

Dear Tazi:

I have a very embarrassing problem. I have a crush on my gynecologist. Like me, she is a woman, but she is married so I don't think she would be interesting in taking a walk on the wild side with me. I can accept this without a problem. Just as I am not attracted to straight men who have expressed interest in me I know that straight women have their preferences, too. My problem is the frequency with which I see her.

Over the past year I have been receiving treatment for a recurring medical issue which has resulted in the need for a hysterectomy. At almost every visit I have been given a pelvic exam, which involves intimate (medical) contact between me and my doctor. As creepy as this sounds, I have actually found myself turned on by these exams. Since my doctor uses a liberal amount of lubricant and wears rubber gloves during my exams I don't think she has been able to tell...but I am not sure.

My hysterectomy has been scheduled, and I thought my doctor was going to be the one to perform it, but she has told me that a different doctor will be doing the surgery and all post-surgical follow-up. When I asked her why, she told me that the hospital where the surgery will be performed has its own surgical team and that she is not in the rotation at this time. I want to believe that this is the reason - I suppose it sounds plausible - but I am afraid that she is making excuses to dump me as a patient because of my crush. Is that unethical? Have I crossed a line? Should I say anything?

Nervous and Annoyed

Dear Nervous And Annoyed:

Having a crush on someone can make a person paranoid. Every little thing that happens takes on enormous significance, and is examined to the nth degree. Sexual excitement is a physiological reaction to a stimulus that is often beyond our control, so even if your doctor has been able to detect this in you (through rubber gloves and a handful of KY) I do not think she would take it as anything more than your body reacting reflexively.

The reason your doctor has given you for passing you off to another surgeon is quite plausible, and not uncommon. This does not mean that your doctor cannot be present to observe or to assist with your follow-up care if she has the time in her schedule to do so - which I doubt she does. Gynecologists have ridiculously tight schedules, which is why many women schedule their appointments a year or more in advance!

If you would prefer that your doctor be the one to provide follow-up medical attention for reasons other than your attraction to her - such as your comfort level with her, uneasiness in disrobing in front of a new doctor, or simply the fact that she has been with you every step of the way so far - express this preference and your concerns to her and see if something can be worked out between the two of you. She may have a very good reason for wanting you to follow-up with the surgeon who performs your surgery, and this will give her the chance to further explain some of the unanswered questions you have.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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