Do you ever get requests to provide medical treatment for friends, family, or staff? Many providers get that on a regular basis, in the office, and at social and sports events. But the question is, should you?
This episode of the NP Business Matters podcast was inspired by an NPBO™ Member who was looking for a policy on treating staff in her practice. This question comes up not infrequently on social media as well.
The answer to this question is not easy and one needs to take into consideration the ethical and legal implications of doing so.
Take a listen, and then share your thoughts below.
- The Joys and Dangers of doctors treating family and friends
- Treating Employees, Family, and Yourself
- AMA Code of Ethics on Treating Self or Family
- ANA Code of Ethics
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Do you treat friends, family, and staff? What about treating yourself? Have you had problems with that? Are your policies in place? What are your thoughts – yes or no?
Indeed, a great topic of conversation. I’ve also observed that this is a very “touchy” subject, one that’s not discussed openly other than to advise: Do not do this.
However, I live/work in a semi-rural area with MANY uninsured folks, coworkers, community servants, church members etc…the working poor. These folks literally cannot afford to attend urgent care and pay $135 for a UTI, refill on a rescue inhaler, etc…So that’s the rub for me.
I also work as a volunteer medical provider at our community Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, so I often can/will advise folks to attend the Free Clinic (if possible)- but that clinic is currently open only one day/week. Many acute (but not terribly serious) illnesses cannot wait 6 days until the clinic is open again.
This is a very personal decision, as you mentioned Barbara (and by the way, what a lovely discussion you provided! 🙂 –It’s our license, our liability, and the scenarios you provided are thoughtful and challenging. I have lots of thoughts on all of this and agree with some of your cautions…and then, there are the “grey” areas, right? And by the way, in my region, the closest Concierge/cash practices are 25+ miles away…
This, for me, is personal and something I pray about as I consider how to treat those who are underserved, while being safe and doing my best for folks. Would love to hear about the challenges others face, esp in communities such as mine.
Thank you so much for your comments. It’s not easy, is it? (Very little we do is easy, or is it black & white!)
Each one of us has to make our own choices (believe me, I’ve been there (rural reservation clinic where everyone is related or close friends, including those who worked there). Sometimes the best we can do is put in as many safeguards as we can). Thanks for the work you do! Best wishes to you!