How To Ask A Doctor Out

Spring is in the air – and so are the musings of Click and Clack. Check out their latest article titled How To Ask Your Mechanic Out On A Date. There are sooo many mechanic-doctor job parallels, everything from the “checking under your hood,” to “preventive maintenance” – parallels  which, of course, lead to the inevitable Doc Gurley spin-off – How To Ask A Doctor Out On A Date…

Dear Doc Gurley (writes a loyal, imaginary reader),

If a doctor is not wearing a wedding ring, is that a true indication of marital status? I think my best

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friend’s doctor is hot, but I’m wondering if maybe there’s no ring because working on cars bodies would destroy it. Depending on your response to the ring issue, I’m also concerned that if this doc took me up on a date offer, but it didn’t work, my wise-cracking, totally BFF sidekick (with a heart of gold) would be out an awesome doc. What do you think? Should I go out on a limb and risk losing both my pride and my friend’s healthcare?

Signed, A Mechanic

Dear Mechanic,

Putting oneself out in there in the hopes of attaining happiness is always a butterfly-in-the-stomach moment. You’re right to review a checklist of items to make sure you’re taking the right step:

1) Whose doctor is this? Saying this is “my friend’s” doctor isn’t like saying “my friend got drunk and woke up in a room with underwear hanging from a chandelier and now he she um, I want to know if someone can get pregnant like that” – now is it? If so, be warned, asking your own doctor out is a big no – no. For lots of good (and law-enforced) reasons. If this doctor has seen you in a back-open gown sitting on a paper sheet, expect a flat-out rejection (but NOT – necessarily – because of the breezy view of your backside – instead it’s because this doc is made of decent, non-felony material).

2) Analyze the (al)lure – you may want to know how deeply your doc is leveraged. Nowadays, the myth of the rich doctor has tumbled faster than a Madoff investment scheme. Well,  more accurately, that’s true if your doc is a primary care, internist, pediatrician or family medicine type. For those professions, we’re not just talking dismal future earnings, either. A graduate from a pricey private medical school could be $300,000 in debt when handed a diploma – and then have to start a 4-6 year mandatory job (residency) that pays, per hour, less than minimum wage. You may be wondering, so how does the debt float all those years? Well, medical school debts don’t exactly float, they grow – to Jabba-the-Hut proportions. If you’re after the lovely hot doctor because you get starry dollar signs in your eyes, you might want to stick with fellow mechanics, who probably make more per hour (and are rarely on-call at 3am).

3) The ring issue. Ah, you’re right in thinking that maybe a wedding ring is not a good indicator of marital status. If she’s a surgeon, she might not wear a ring to work because of the problems of scrubbing in over and over. If your doctor is an out-patient or non-surgeon doc, he might not wear one even if he’s married because he cares about his patients – rings contribute to the spread of nasty, resistant germs, even when people wash often and well. So a ring is not a sure-fire indicator of marital status among bare-handed medical types. How to find out? Just ask. Doctors spend their entire days asking near-strangers incredibly personal questions point-blank. Even at a dinner party, your doctor probably won’t even blink. And if your doctor follows up with a “why do you want to know?” you’ve got a great lead-in to ask him out.

Or, if you’re not ready for that yet, just slouch and tell her, all casual, “No reason – just wondering.” She’ll get the hint.

4) The BFF-doc triangle. Here’s the deal – doctors need love too. If your doc is a relatively young woman, she may be used to “scaring off” potential dates simply by saying she’s a doc. In medical school a bunch of us women would go to bars and gauge the difference between telling guys (after the inevitable “what do you do?”) that we were alternately doctors, or nurses. Let’s just say the difference was more-than-a-little striking. If you’re a woman, telling a new flirty friend you’re a doctor, even in these enlightened times, is often followed by “you mean, like, a real doctor?” followed by a sudden interest in texting-while-wandering-off.

The problem is, though, people feel strongly about their doctors. If your hot doc is your friend’s doctor, ask your BFF straight up how they feel about you asking for a date. BFFs are definitely hard to find. And sadly, nowadays, so are good doctors.  If your BFF says it’s a no-go, don’t despair. A simple job change, or open-enrollment, or even healthcare reform, could leave your friend, like so many Americans, back at the drawing board, looking for a new place to get healthcare. While you wouldn’t wish such a thing on anyone, it happens way too often these days -a dark cloud whose silver lining is that you’re now free to ask out your hot doc.

Some people think doctors should only mate with their own kind. Others shudder at the thought. Do you have (or know) an extreme hybrid couple (non-doctor plus doctor)? Share your doctor-dating stories in the comments section below!

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