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Do I get a treat?

For the first time in two weeks I’m caught up with my clinic paperwork.  Sigh.

Ethical question: if a patient who’s never seen me (or anyone at my clinic) before calls ahead of her first visit because she wants me to telephone her so she can ask me a bunch of questions and see if I’m going to be the solution to her problems or if I’m just going to be “like all the other doctors”, am I justified in saying “no, that’s what the first visit is for” and refusing to call her?  Especially if I strongly suspect I’ll be JUST like all the other doctors, and she’ll hate me anyway?

(There’s more detail to the story that led me to believe that a doctor-patient relationship between me and her would be of no benefit to either of us, but the core question is whether it’s reasonable for me to refuse to be someone’s doctor in the first place).

My friend’s very precocious daughter asked me the yesterday what I would do if I have to be a doctor for someone I thoroughly dislike.  (She used George Bush as an example).  I stammered a bit and didn’t give her a very good answer.  What do y’all think the answer should be?

As a side note, I’m totally psyched that this friend’s daughter felt comfortable enough to have friendly conversation with me.  She’s at that wonderful, amazing preteen age where she’s really starting to put her worldview together, she doesn’t have a lot of female role models (her Dad has custody as a single parent for now), and before this she was always a little too shy to interact much with me. Now that’s a relationship that stands to be beneficial to both parties!  I look forward to future challenging questions from her.


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