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to think that doctors shouldn't hug their patients?

(42 Posts)
Alameda Mon 03-Dec-12 10:29:52

but otherwise I think this one makes a good point although he was probably the one who needed a hug the most in that instance

Alameda Mon 03-Dec-12 10:55:49

the article is really about how prescriptions for patients are often actually self-prescriptions for doctors and how the best medicine can sometimes be no medicine at all

am not very good at starting discussions unless am in a debilitating state of horn but have only ever known one doctor capable of inducing that

annh Mon 03-Dec-12 10:58:32

What?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 03-Dec-12 10:58:48

Can't read the link, sorry; do you have to be logged in? Can only see the front page, as it were.

Alameda Mon 03-Dec-12 11:01:57

oh, sorry, no I don't think so

link to blog and the article is 'art of self prescribing, denial of pain' etc

Scuttlebutter Mon 03-Dec-12 12:50:38

One of the nicest hugs I ever had was from a doctor. After having cancer, I had to go for regular checkups, first three monthly then six monthly then annual for a five year period. Obviously during that time you get to know the regular doctors and nurses. After my very last ever check up, the doctor let me get dressed and then grinned broadly at me, and she said, "You're fine, all clear." I was so pleased and delighted and relieved that I both burst into tears and was grinning like a loon, and she pulled me over and gave me a great big hug. I gave the nurse a hug too and then one for DH, so it was a bit of a hug fest all round. blush But it was lovely and felt entirely appropriate, and remains one of my happiest memories. It's much in my mind as for various reasons this check up appointment would always fall in the week before Christmas and I always felt that I could never entirely relax and celebrate until I'd got through this appointment. Even now, at this time of the year, I think about and remember it a great deal.

valiumredhead Mon 03-Dec-12 13:06:52

A lovely consultant gave me a hug as I was lying in intensive care after having ds - she popped in to see ds in SCBU too and came and told me he was doing well.

BartletForTeamGB Mon 03-Dec-12 13:29:22

I got a hug from a patient just last week. He has learning disabilities and was sad that he's not going to see me again because I'll be on maternity leave so we'd been chatting about baby names. It felt completely appropriate.

I can also think of a couple of times (really, only a couple of times) that I have been comforting patients or their relatives after breaking bad news. Sometimes a pat on the hand isn't enough and that has been welcomed.

Lulabellarama Mon 03-Dec-12 13:31:53

I had a lovely hug from a female doctor when I went in suffering with anxiety and burst into tears.
It was exactly what I needed.

thebitchdoctor Mon 03-Dec-12 13:32:31

I got a hug from 2 of my favourite patients the other week, patients also often put their hand on my shoulder in thanks on the way out. I would never initiate a hug as I don't think that'd be appropriate in most circumstances but certainly those hugs I got from my patients made my day, they'd both done so well and I was so proud of them and told them so smile

CreamOfTomatoSoup Mon 03-Dec-12 13:50:18

My GP gives me a hug and a kiss to greet me and say goodbye to me every time I go and see her. I think it's very inappropriate.

Sirzy Mon 03-Dec-12 14:07:56

Sometimes it is very appropriate IMO.

When I was upset while DS was in HDU a consultant gave me a hug. On a different admission I had a hug and some chocolates of the sister. Both of which were perfectly appropriate

KenLeeeeeee Mon 03-Dec-12 14:14:51

The midwife who delivered dd gave me a hug when she came to the postnatal ward later that day. I think it was because she'd scared me shitless barking orders at me & making me cry in labour!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 03-Dec-12 14:22:08

I've had a really tough year health wise and had to fight the local pct the whole way to get appropriate care, my gp has been fighting right along side me and last week when I finally got an appointment with a specialist my lovely lovely gp gave me a hug, it didn't feel inappropriate at all.

expatinscotland Mon 03-Dec-12 14:24:03

Why not if it's someone they worked with very closely or intensely for a while?

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Mon 03-Dec-12 14:26:32

Personally I think YABU. If someone had bad news, or was fragile/weak, and a doctor sensed a hug would help that person cope better, then they should go for it. The basic act might help someone to cry and that is a very healing thing to do, normally.

Obviously a doctor shouldn't hug in a lecherous way, or just hand them out willy-nilly, but the palliative care side of their responsibilities is something I think is VERY important and anything that helps them to improve it should be encouraged as much as possible, in my opinion.

naughtymummy Mon 03-Dec-12 14:27:08

I kissed and hugged my midwives after the births of both dcs. I am very demonstrative tho.

winterhill Mon 03-Dec-12 14:27:57

The consultant I was under 10 years ago was the most matter of fact person that you could me to the point of being a bit scary but you felt what he told was right, no bull shit, no dressing things up so you lose what they are trying to tell you.
After a hard time and coming through ops he was about to discharge me and gave me a huge hug and said 'you! out! I never want to see you in this office again' Tears all round!!!

Crying now thinking of how nice he was. Nothing bad or inappropiate about it.

Jacksmania Mon 03-Dec-12 15:19:12

I had to see my wonderful gynae surgeon again recently for a problem we thought was fixed but which had, in the intervening two years, actually gotten worse. She came in with a young registrar at her side, and before she said anything else, have me a huge hug and then said "oh I wish you didn't have to be here but it's so lovely to see you". And then held my hand while the registrar did the internal exam.
I adore her because it's not an empty gesture and I know she means it.

Hugs can be creepy if YOU think they're inappropriate.
And they can be the best thing ever when you know that you are a person to your doctor, and not just another case.

abayababe Mon 03-Dec-12 15:39:35

I cannot open the link, but all I will say is, I shared many a hug with drs and nurses in the NICU where my ds was born and we spent six weeks there, his consultant brought him back to me twice and I hug him everytime I see him, ds is now 20mths and perfect, sometimes you form such a strong bond at the most vulnerable time of your life, it seems the most natural thing in the world to do, I still visit him socially when Ds has check ups in the pediatric department and yes its hug everytime, I will never ever forget him, so yes yabusmile

Alameda Mon 03-Dec-12 18:53:36

wonder why link doesn't work for some people?

article is also on mad in America here

although is not really about hugs very much!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 03-Dec-12 18:58:20

As a midwife I've hugged lots of women. Not all, sometimes it wouldn't be appropriate but sometimes I've felt it is. Sometimes I haven't iniatiated it as I wasn't sure how'd they'd take it only to have them dive at me for a hug.

I've had husbands and various family members hug me, kiss me.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 18:59:49

I've been hugged a few times by doctors. One was a psychiatrist, I had had a proper melt down whilst trying to insist that yes I did have a mental health problem, I needed to see someone about CFS. I was so upset, and shouted that I was sick of people not believing me. He knelt down in front of me, looked me in the eye and said, "I believe you. We will get this sorted, I promise", and gave me a hug. I needed that hug.

Then when I was pregnant and under the CFS team, knowing it would be the last time I saw my specialist (transfer to adult) he gave me a hug and wished me well.

Then recently when I had been told that I needed another operation, and I burst into tears saying that I was 21 and so tired of having all these health problems, the lovely gynea gave me a quick hug as he gave me a box of tissues, and agreed with me that it was bloody unfair, but he could help with one part of it if I would let him.

None of those have felt inappropriate.

pigletmania Mon 03-Dec-12 19:47:21

I don't mind, I am a consenting adult. It's good that doctors are human after all. We should all unite in one big hug smile

44SoStartingOver Mon 03-Dec-12 19:54:26

Actually it is really difficult to say I think. A hug that could be appreciated by someone upset, could be a huge trigger fro someone who is traumatised.

A reassuring hug on an open ward surrounded by people could be very different to a psychiatrist embracing someone in a private room.

I dont think there is a single gesture that is unequivocally non sexual and non threatening and so how could you be totally sure it would not make someone upset feel even worse? And yet health care professionals sometimes see us at our most shocked, vulnerable and traumatised, when a hug coudl be really helpful.

I don't know what the answer is to be honest.

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