Sexual Come-On By The Doctor-Boss?

Question:

MY fiance just explained to me about her day at the office. she is a lpn at a dermatology office and wanted to ask the doc about some rash she had got on her hand. the doctor looked at it and told her what he thought it was and also during the exam he noticed she had a heart murmur and suggested she get that checked out as well. She told him that she dosnt have insurance and can’t do that.

At the end of the day he called her back into his office after everybody had left to talk about different options of health care without insurance. Keep in mind they are the only two left in the office and they are in his personal office.

After awhile she explains to me that he had gotten a phone call from his wife asking where he was and he told his wife he was still with a patient and they are about to finish up the paper work and get out! (RED FLAG) Why did he lie? Why not say he’s talking to one of his staff about whatever they were talking about?

He then asked her if she’s been getting any headaches, and she replies yes but only when I bend over. and the doc then says,” why dont you show me how you bend over”!

There is only one way to bend over and it doesent take a doc. to figure that out. To me that’s a sexual advance on an employee, and my fiance even said it was starting to weird her out.

After lying to his wife about what he was doing and then asking her to show him how she bends over? Am I being paranoid or was he taking it a little too far?

Signed,

Upset


Answer:

DearĀ Upset:

I can understand that your fiancee and you would feel upset by this situation. We are primarily a workplace communications site, and this may go far beyond that. If your fiancee feels her safety is at risk or that the doctor is a risk for others, she should reach out to someone local there who can assist her.

According to the office situation that might be someone over the clinic, an office manager (although that might not get results), the medical board for the state, or some other resource. Your fiancee is an LPN, so perhaps through her training or associations she could receive more localized and specific advice.

It doesn’t sound as though this kind of thing has happened before, so it doesn’t fall into the category of sexual harassment. However, it would be that if this was repeated or if he tries to pressure her about it in some other way.

It also doesn’t sound as though your fiancee was threatened or couldn’t leave the room or office. So, if she stays employed there (which she may not want to do)she will want to make sure she does not allow herself to be put in such an embarrassing and inappropriate situation again.

Your fiancee probably knows the doctor’s reputation and his general character as well as the way he acts with employees and patients. If he has good character usually and has never acted in a way that was approaching something like this, he may be regretting what happened and it will never happen again. If not, he may think of this as the first step and he might try to have another personal conversation after hours.

If he asks your fiance to stay after work she should just say she can’t. If he pushes it she can say that it looks bad and she won’t do it, to avoid problems for both of them but especially for her. And that’s the truth, because the rumors would harm her far more than him. If he persists in asking her, THAT is when she she should not only quit but report him. Unfortunately, there will probably be no evidence to fully support her claims, but at least she would have brought it to someone’s attention…and there may have been other reports.

However, it could also be that this was a one time situation that will never be repeated. If your fiancee has a solid job there, has had no problems otherwise, and sees no indication that this is something that is habitual with him, she may find she can move forward in a professional way, being certain to not give the doctor any encouragement apart from being professionally courteous and friendly.

He may bring up the subject of her medcial insurance on Monday. A good way to respond would be for her to say that she talked to her fiance about it and he said he’d be looking into it. Mentioning you might be enough to let him know she discussed it..and that might stop anything else.

I do think, however, she should keep her eyes and ears open for indications that he has tried something similar with anyone else, especially patients. At that point she should seek assistance from both the licensing source in your state and from anyone else who seems to be able to help, given the nature of the medical office.

If your fiancee feels so negatively about him now that she is worried this will happen again, she should not stay there, but should instead find another place to work where she feels more comfortable. If she stays and clearly shows that she is not interested in a closer relationship, this one incident may be the last and she can work there until it’s time to move on anyway. There are many variables about this that only your fiancee could be aware of, given her knowledge of the full situation. Those should guide her responses to this matter.

Best wishes to both of you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know how the matter is resolved.

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.