Doctors Wife is office Manager

Question:

My friend had rhinoplasty over 2 years ago is not happy with it. She talked to the office manager and felt the OM was trying to placate her placate her. She recently found out, through a third party, that the doctor and this office manager are married. Is this ethical for them not to tell their patients this. I and one other friend have gone to this doctor and they do not say they are married-this is a very small office. Is this ethical?

Signed,

Wondering


Answer:

Dear Wondering:

There would be nothing about it that would violate medical ethics unless some aspect of the work required them to not have any direct relationship. (I can’t think of anything that would fit that, right this moment.)

Many medical offices have the spouse as an office manager–we get many letters from employees complaining about the fact that they have no recourse if they’re not happy with the OM, who is the doctor’s wife.

I realized, as I read your letter, that my dentist, dermatologist and chiropractor are all husband-wife teams. But, they don’t make a point of telling anyone, because there would be no reason to do so.

In the case of your friend’s complaint, probably even if the OM wasn’t married to the doctor she would try to placate her to avoid a complaint or a request for a re-do.

That shouldn’t stop your friend from continuing to seek a remedy if she feels the surgery isn’t helping her breathing problems, doesn’t look right or doesn’t look as promised, or whatever it was that she got the surgery for. When it’s your own face or health it is very irritating to feel that someone is talking down to you about it, I know! Best wishes to your friend about this.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.