May a Doctor Ask his Patient to Go Out on a Date?

I have received a wonderful question from a reader, which I will be of course very happy to answer: may a doctor ask his female patient to go out on a date with him, especially if he feels that the two of them have been flirting with each other? This is such a good question, because the same applies to the professor and his student, for work colleagues (boss and secretary), coach and coache etc. Something not all that unusual.

Let’s see the basic rule first: the legal situation has to be clarified first of all, especially since there is a dependency of one person from the other, for example, when one of them is in a power position and is thinking about starting a relationship (no matter what kind) with a “subordinate” or “dependant”. Can I do this in the first place or am I making myself liable to prosecution in some way? So, turn to the Internet, your attorney, the professional association, the legal department or similar facilities. Every country has its own laws on that subject and it makes good sense to check what is legal and what is illegal in your country of residence.

If this has been resolved and you get a green light, then the thing is quite simple: just go ahead and try!

Of course I’m exaggerating slightly when I say that it is the duty of every man to approach a woman he finds attractive. Not only because he is a man and this attitude belongs to his basic genetic programming, but simply because it’s unmanly and not very smart to let opportunities in life (of whatever type) escape. Check out this article, because there it says clearly that women expect a man to take the initiative.

It can only get problematic if we take advantage of a person in a weaker position. A patient can fall in love with the doctor because she received help from him in an emergency situation. A student with the teacher because he is simply a person of authority and automatically looks attractive.

On the other hand one must always be aware as a doctor that a woman in many cases simply follows a strategy to move upwards financially and socially, or intends to get through life without working, and that someone like a doctor is an especially good candidate for this. But this, of course, has nothing to do with the question I was asked.
So, have fun with the flirtatious patient, but please make sure first whether this is legally ok! A good pickup line is: “My attorney has given the green light: Let’s have a coffee tomorrow! I am free at 2.30 pm or at 7 pm”.