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I've Got a Crush on My Doctor


Published June 15, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated June 16, 2016 at 12:15 p.m.

Dear Athena,

I've recently found myself in an ethical dilemma. I've needed to change health care providers, as my former doctor retired. When I went to meet my new physician, I found myself utterly attracted to him. He seems to be in his early thirties, with short dark hair and captivating eyes. He is always pleasant and professional at our appointments. I'm finding more and more reasons to go to the doctor. I don't know how to even broach the topic of maybe seeing each other outside of these clinical encounters. How can I try to take these feelings to the next level?


Dreaming About My Doctor

Dear Dreaming,

I don't want to minimize your feelings about the situation, but what's the big deal here? You've met someone you're attracted to, and you want to take it up a notch. He sounds lovely — so why wouldn't you go for it?

I happen to believe that when you're interested in someone, you should take action. Big exceptions: when the person is underage, or one or both of you are married, or the crush is your boss or employee.

With your doctor, what do you have to lose? Well, here's the thing: You'll lose your doctor, whether or not he responds to your advances. It is unethical for a medical professional to date a patient. But, in this case, you actually don't want him to be your doctor; you want him to be your date.

So call him up. Tell him what you've told me: that you're feeling a little weird about it, and you've never been in this situation before, but you feel you'll regret it if you don't give it a shot. And, by the way, do not ask him out when you're seeing him as a patient.

I would suggest finding a new doctor first, regardless. Because whether or not the two of you get together, you cannot continue a doctor-patient relationship. In fact, you would put him in a difficult situation if he was still your doctor. So make it clear that you have changed providers.

Be prepared for him to turn you down — as with any other person. But, assuming he isn't married, who knows? He might say yes. I have a friend who ended up marrying her dentist. Stranger connections have been forged.

None of us gets to choose to whom we are drawn. It happens, and there's no point in analyzing it or denying it. It is what is, but maybe it could be more. You won't know if you don't ask!