Who are the latest stalking victims these days? DOCTORS!
A new report found a surge in obsessed patients stalking doctors, and sending them sexy text messages, Facebook messages and Tweets. In fact, in the last year, the number of doctors filing complaints about patient harassment has jumped 33 percent.
And in some extreme cases, doctors are getting restraining orders and police protection.
So, why are so many doctors suddenly getting stalked? Experts say that patients share personal details with their doctors, and so they naturally feel a close connection. But things start getting creepy when patients mistake a doctor’s innocent comment, “You look good” - for a “You look good” come-on.
Before the Internet, obsessed patients would send doctors letters and call their offices, which could be ignored. But today, the Internet is giving patients carte-blanche to send doctors nonstop emails, Tweets and Facebook messages.
Take the scary case of one male doctor we read about. An obsessed female patient became so enraged when her doctor transferred her to another provider, that she made a false police claim that they had a sexual relationship. The doctor was eventually cleared, after a 6-month official investigation.
So what can doctors do? Make your social networking sites private, and set up clear boundaries with patients so that they’re always reminded that you’re their doctor, and nothing more. For example, if you’re calling to check on them after a procedure, call from a landline, never your cellphone, and keep the call 100 percent professional.