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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Is it Okay to keep in touch with my retired physician?

 toban - Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:51 pm

I am not sure if what I am feeling is normal or okay.

I was going to a specialist/plastic surgeon due to arm, hand problems. At the same time dealing also with domestic abuse. One of my surgeries is due to the abuse. Anyways this kind doctor sensed something was wrong and asked. I eventually told him about the abuse and he was wonderful about it. Many times I came in with injuries and he never once said go elsewhere because I am not a hospital or walk in clinic. With his encouragment I finally left my abuser. I felt as though this doctor saved my life. Even after I left he still monitored my progress. I have thanked him through cards, notes.

I feel as though I have bonded with this doctor. Not in a romantic way at all. He nor I have never overstepped any boundaries or given off signals. I respect him only as a doctor/friend. He has never done anything to make me uncomfortable.

This surgeon will be retiring in one month. Today was my last appt with him. I thanked him for his medical help and also his support in regards to the abuse, gave him a retirement card. I came out and asked him if it would be okay if I kept in contact with him to let him know of my progress. He said sure. I asked if I should phone or write him. He said laughing "I am not that elusive and I will be at my office for the next while cleaning out stuff, you can send your letters here." I said okay, gave him my phone number, email and just said "I will leave it up to you, but if you wish this how you can contact me." I asked him if it would be okay if I gave him a hug goodbye and he said yes. We hugged, he said take care dear. I said goodbye.

Is there anything wrong with me for wanting to keep in contact with him? I only like him as an acquaintance/doctor. I did get some therapy for the abuse and I feel as though the reason why I want to keep in contact is because he is truly an angel who helped me, not for continued support. Sometimes you hear of good samaritans or others who help keep in contact. Maybe they did something beyond the ordinary. I don't know if this is appropriate. I am sure if he felt uncomfortable or didn't agree he would say no. Even after he leaves his office i would lke to stay in contact once in awhile through letter. Should I let him know this through letter? Is all of this okay or not?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:55 am

User avatar Hi toban,
Your feelings are perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong with wanting to occasionally keep in touch to not only let him know how you are but to inquire how he is as well. Friendships are built in many ways and it's quite acceptable. May many blessings be bestowed on him for his caring behavior and additional assistance in directing you out of a destructive harms way.
Theresa Jones, RN
 toban - Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:51 pm

Thanks Theresa!

So do you find it quite common that patients keep in touch with physicians after they retire? I was just wondering because you work in the medical field. I will ask him how he is doing etc. I just sent him one letter, hope he will eventually respond. He never came out and said he would write back but that I could send letters to his office.

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