Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment with my neurologist, who I only go to see so I can get my drugs for a previously diagnosed neurological condition. Whilst, he is a lovely old guy I actually don’t trust him to diagnose anything. When I first went to see him last year, I brought all my medical files with me so he could read the entire case history of my condition. He didn’t even bother to read them. That set alarm bells ringing. In my appointment yesterday, the third appointment I have had with him, he asked me what neurological condition I had. Do you perhaps understand why I only trust him to write a prescription?
Anyway, during this appointment, he asked me what I do for a living. Now explaining what I actually do for a living causes people’s eyes to glaze over so I simplify it as Tech Support. It is Tech Support, but in an extremely niche section of IT and it does not involve fixing people’s computers.
About an hour after my appointment I get a call from my neurologist. I immediately think perhaps there was some mistake on the prescription he wrote me, but no, he actually wants me to come back to his office to fix his computer. He wasn’t entirely sure what was going on but it required some kind of password which he didn’t have. I had to explain to him that I don’t know how to fix computers. But my biggest issue with it was that, in my opinion, it was inappropriate. Sure, if I had a long-standing and friendly relationship with him it might have been fine, but for someone who had seen me three times for a grand total of at most 30 minute, no, it wasn’t. It really wasn’t.
What are your views on this? Is it okay for medical professionals to use their patients as a free computer helpline? Or for free tax advice or free legal advice? Or whatever their patients might do for a living? Or do you think that there exists a professional boundary there?