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Are Doctors Turned on by Attractive Patients?

by Dr.Sal MD on author

cupid attraction

Yes and no. There is no doubt that doctors notice attractive patients just as much as you couldn't help but notice someone too tall, too short, or too ugly. You can't help but notice the pretty, the beautiful, the statuesque, the stylish, the bombshell, the vivacious, or the handsome - that's biologically driven magnetism you can't shut off in your brain. But 'turned on' is the tricky part. 'Turned on', meaning to feel sexually aroused in your nether parts with a throbbing to "tap dat" is less likely than you might think in a clinical setting.

Don't flatter yourself, most doctors don't want to jump your bones no matter how 'hot' you think you are, for several reasons. First, is volume. We see so many people each day, naked and not, that our memories blur right after we see you, and further fades the next day when more new memories overwrite the old. Second, is that viewing a person under harsh fluorescent lights, without conducive music and alcoholic beveridges, in an unaroused state, is not memorable or sexually stimulating. Clinical offices are real mood killers. I prefer if you can keep your clothes on because changing in and out of your birthday suit slows the visit down. But alas, for some ailments there is just no substitute for direct observation of your private bits. To get to the bottom of a bottom complaint (pun intended) it stands to reason that we have to look at your back side.

If there is one fear greater than the fear of public speaking, I believe it is the fear of stripping down to one’s birthday suit in front of your doctor. It is so embarrassing that it doesn’t make it onto fear polls. People prefer not to speak of it.

Guys will apologetically claim the chill of the office or low barometric pressure or some other absurdity has put them at an anatomical disadvantage when having their “junk” examined. Girls will put off having pap smears done for years putting themselves at risk for undetected cervical cancer. Why so shy? Don't people realize that you can die of cervical cancer, never of embarrassment?

Maybe it’s the social asymmetry - I show you mine, how come you don’t show me yours. The transaction feels unfair. But if doctors had to strip down to match each time you did, I bet a lot of pelvic exams would be deferred. Not to mention the risk of mutual attraction, “hello doctor, is that your stethoscope in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

But is that it? Why then do we feel comfortable being naked in front of our pet but not our doctor? They are both familiar. And why does our anxiety drop a couple notches if our neighbor looks away, but for Fido or Sylvester it doesn’t matter if they look right at our birthday suit. I think this paradox, this differential fear of being naked, is really a fear of judgement. Our neighbor or doctor has the capacity to judge what they see, and that’s what makes us uncomfortable. Our pet, a young child, someone drunk or asleep, doesn't and that’s why we feel comfortable streaking in front of them.

Perhaps another reason people fear disrobing in front of doctors is a fear of being remembered. They fear that not only will their doctors create a mental attractiveness score card, but also use their prodigious memories to keep a visual file of their naked self for giggles or salivation later. Nothing could be farther from a doctor’s mind.

Doctors are so busy they are often blind to beauty. When I first started practice I noted that many "attractive" young women suddenly burst out crying as I interviewed them. Perplexed at first I eventually realized that I was so aloof, and badgering them with questions, that they simply weren’t used to not being treated as pretty. But beauty is a hard illusion to maintain under a doctor's piercing fluorescent lights, cold cots, elevator music and Gestapo like interrogation rooms. When I sit in my clinic chair, hungry, hurried, and harrowed, I enter a tunnel vision zone. Attractiveness registers faintly but is overshadowed by a flood of task oriented objectives.

All that being said, there have been and will be rare cases of doctors who do touch their patients inappropriately, often under sedation during pelvic procedures: usually older, sexually frustrated males. They can look forward to going away to prison for a long time with the only examinations they'll be left doing are prostates.

Can Doctors Date their Patients?

This is frowned on by our regulatory bodies as a breach of professional boundaries. Yet it rarely reaches their ears because unlike inappropriate groping, both adults are consenting if they agree to the date i.e. they genuinely like each other and want to get it on. If a doctor does become romantically involved with their patient they are expected to stop seeing them as their physician immediately - you can't have your cake and eat it too - and refer their care to a colleague. In the rarer case of a doctor or patient who is already married, things can become very ugly with transition to court circuses, professional reprimand or licence suspension.

One bizarre love triangle I came across was that of a serial temptress that hooked not one, but two doctors in succession in the same town. The salacious story took place in Mattawa, population 2000, and small enough that I had to squint to see it on a map. She first jumped the bones of her family doctor. Authorities were called in when she began cooing about their relationship during a hospital admission for depression. He lost his license to practice. Next was her psychiatrist. He was accused of sex, and using gifts of cash and antidepressants to "deepen her dependence on him". He is awaiting sentencing at time of writing. At no time during either court proceeding was the character of the sultry temptress called into question. That is because doctors are assumed to be in a superior power position to their patients. So even if Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs in front of you, and you feel fatally attracted, you are expected to avert your eyes and not take the bait.

So why will a few doctors still hazard the risk of crossing their professional boundary asking their patients on a date when there's a large menu of less risky choice? Well consider that a doctor on the market for love will come into contact with more new faces through their job (5 days a week), than through their personal life (2 days a week). And unlike a nightclub one off meeting, you see the same person again and again as you care for them and migrate to caring about them. This is why more doctors than you would expect by chance, marry nurses or other doctors(about 20% of the time to be figurative). Proximity breeds procreation.

Do Gynecologists get turned on?

A question that pops up is: "after seeing suffering vaginas all day, how do male gynecologists keep it up at home?" It is a fair question. But most of the male gynecologists I've rubbed shoulders with have successfully sired families so their sex drive seems to be intact. But how can this be? Perhaps an analogy might help. You've seen bruised and spoilt apples all the time; that doesn't mean you like ripe apples any less. A bartender doesn't tire of serving themselves spirits, or a computer programmer refuse to use his own computer when home. People also underestimate our ability to partition off our work-minds from our home-minds. So no, male gynecologists do not get turned off, their libido seems just fine thank you. They just don't get excited at work. "Next..."

 


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