Developing a crush on your doctor

September 24, 2008 5:43:37 PM PDT
It happens to TV doctors like "McDreamy" and "McSteamy," but what about in real life? How often do patients fall for their doctors? Just how normal is it? Nurse practitioner Barbara Dehn shares some thoughts.

McDreamy & McSteamy
By NurseBarb

What is that strange fluttering sensation in your heart? Is it anxiety about your health? There you are, perched precariously on the edge of brown faux leather covered exam table, trying not to shift too much on the noisy, crinkly paper. The room is cold and all you have to cover up is a flimsy paper towel masquerading as a hospital gown. You're waiting to see your doctor or other health care provider, and now there are butterflies in your stomach.

What's the diagnosis? An irregular heart beat, a stomach bug? An anxiety disorder? Could it simply be that you've got a major crush on the person who provides your health care.

If you still have a pulse and aren't quite ready for CPR, when a doctor who could be related to McDreamy or McSteamy walks in with a smile and asks you with genuine concern, "How are you feeling today?" if your knees don't buckle, then you might be a good candidate for a neurological examination.

How it happens
What's going on here? There's a few simple explanations for why this happens, beyond the glaringly obvious attraction to someone who's drop dead gorgeous. Many people fall for average looking providers because of 2 factors.

First, they are genuinely interested in what you have to say, and want to take care of you. Who wouldn't be attracted to that?

Second, and this is directed toward women who fall for male doctors, unlike other men in your life, these guys will answer you in complete sentences, and get this, they'll even toss out a follow up question. Wait, it gets better, they'll actually listen to your answer and understand what you trying to communicate, instead of grunts and shrugs to indicate that they're still in the same room.

What about men?
Of course, men can fall for their health care provider, male or female. They're just as susceptible to a caring professional who listens and seems happy to see them. Think about Tony Soprano and his crush on Dr. Melfi, played by Lorraine Bracco.

What to do
If you find yourself in this situation, it might be reassuring to know that it's perfectly normal. Just to be on safe side, remember:

  • Thoughts and actions are 2 entirely different things. It's ok to have a hot fantasy, just remember that it's a fantasy and not real.

  • Tell a friend, that way you can both share similar stories about your own Brad Pitt look alike. If you keep it a secret, a hot little crush may become even more provocative .

  • If you find yourself obsessing about this person, then by all means talk to someone about it.

  • Don't act on your fantasies. Stalking is not a good way to get those work in appointments for a bladder infection.

    What should you do if the lined gets crossed?

    Thankfully, this is rare, but if a health care provider says or does something that makes you uncomfortable, it may be so shocking that you find it difficult to react immediately.

    As soon as possible, state that you need to go to the bathroom and then leave the office immediately.

    Report the incident immediately to your state medical association.

    You should also contact the police if you believe that you believer that you were assaulted physically.

    ________________________________

    Read another one of Barb's article on falling for your doctor:

  • When There's a Love Connection in the Exam Room
  • Barb Dehn's blog: www.nursebarb.com

    Barb Dehn, RN, MS, NP, Bio:
    Barb Dehn is a practicing Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, award winning author, and a nationally recognized health expert. She holds a BS from Boston College and earned Masters degree at the University of California, San Francisco. An in demand and popular national speaker on all aspects of women's health, she also lectures at Stanford and is a frequent health expert on NBC's iVillageLive and recently In the Loop with iVillage.


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