They came seemingly out of nowhere. And suddenly, they were all the rage, especially among patients, who wanted to be sure I had watched and listened to every last one of them. These summits are a double-edged sword – they could be a potential godsend, or a potential serious obstacle. They can make or break the doctor-patient partnership, and/or a patient’s health.
“Don’t do it,” our school had said, over and over again. “Don’t treat friends and family. Refer them out. Otherwise you’re just asking for trouble.”
I understood the basic message. It could be summed up as a Boundary Issue. As in, friends and family members tend not to have any. Or at least, they’re less likely to consider them (boundaries, I mean).
Family members remember when you were in diapers, mumbling in baby talk. Friends remember when you wouldn’t share the sky-blue crayon…or perhaps they remember you drunk-dialing your ex. Either way, the dual relationships can become…awkward.