Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dr. Orthochick: Friend me!

I got a friend request on facebook yesterday from someone I didn't recognize, I looked at the pictures and it turns out he was a guy I saw in foot&ankle clinic last week for his foot pain.

I politely declined that request.

Is it just me, or is that a little weird? I mean, I wasn't examining his bunions because I wanted to sleep with him. My sole interaction (no pun intended) with this guy was limited to talking about his foot problems. I'm not even sure how he remembered my name long enough to look me up on facebook.

This is probably a sign that I should either get off facebook or change my name on it, both of which would probably be fine since I rarely go on it to begin with. Because even though this is the first patient to try and friend me, I really don't want to be friends with patients at all. I don't really post anything on facebook and most of my friends don't tag me in posts, I don't have any incriminating photos, and there's actually not all that much personal information up there, but I still do not want my patients to see it. I don't want to blur the patient-doctor relationship here. And, truth be told, if they're not sitting in front of me, I don't really care what they're up to.

Put frankly, I do not want to be friends with my patients.

I don't know if I gave the guy the wrong idea or something, I thought I was pretty professional and it's not like I asked him to take off his shirt or something so as far as physical exam goes, foot&ankle is pretty low on the sexy totem pole, but maybe I said something wrong?

Me: Hey, you remember that younger guy we saw last week with the bunions? He sent me a friend request on facebook!
Dr. Critical: You're welcome. I guess that's an unintentional perk of the foot&ankle rotation--you get to hook up with the patients.


  1. I'm not on FB, and have no desire to ever be on it.

  2. My last physician was interested in medieval history, a long time interest of mine. I have a pretty good library of books on the subject, and let him borrow a few books. When he finished, his receptionist would let me know, and I would go pick them up. I never considered him a friend, and agree that keeping the relationship professional is the best way to go. If I saw him at a show, and he initiated conversation, I would talk with him, but only about the show. Absolutely no medical questions.
    I'm the same way at work. I interact with the people that I need to, when I need to, but I have no interest in socializing with them at all. My employer wants me to be on FB, in part to track our outside activities, and I simply refuse.

    1. It's so abusive to ask employees to be on FB!

    2. I think you should tell your employer to politely take a long walk off a short pier.

  3. Many of my attendings are on FB and have tens of their patients there, not to speak about us medical students.

    I can't see what is wrong with it. ( maybe in the state, more lawsuits so you need to be extra careful).

    Anyway, the guy was one of many patients to you, but you are only on doctor who cared for his leg. I'm saying if you looked up your px that is weird but if your px look you up that is less weird.

  4. I do not belong to any social network sites so the point is moot.
    However, I have no desire to be a friend, e-mail buddy, etc. to someone
    I do not know personally. As much as I respect your opinion, peace,
    I have to agree with Dr. Orthochick on this one.
    By the way, did someone say podiatry consult? - Paul

  5. Regarding the movie "Home Alone," I don't how it became a "holiday classic."
    Personally, it's quite sadistic. Oh, that's right, as long as you have a cute kid
    it's all fun and games. Also, what's up with movies where people fall madly
    in love with the person at first sight. That's not love. That's lust, pure and simple.
    "When I first set eyes on her, I fell madly in love." Really? You don't even know
    her. Oh, that's right, love is something you feel through your eyes. Perhaps if the
    public demanded better, Hollywood would stop pawning off this shit and start making real movies.

  6. Are you still in residency or you are an attending? Since I have regular patients, I am OK to have them in my FB list.

  7. I agree with Dr Orthochick- a patient sending a friend request to their doctor is kinda creepy (especially if doctor is young and female). I have received friend requests from a couple of patients and obviously declined. I suppose it could be different if you've been in practice a long time and have patients you know very well.

  8. I recently added my PT to my facebook. She's a traveling PT who has seen me 2-3 times a week for most of the last 9 months. Over that time we became pretty good friends, and I really cherished her both as a great PT and as a friend. Even with that great relationship, I waited until after she moved, and therefore I was no longer in her care, before adding her to facebook. It seems really weird to me to have medical professionals that I have a professional relationship with on my facebook. But then again, I don't even add co-workers.