Is Your Doctor Being Stalked?

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According to a shocking abstract presented at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting, over 20 percent of doctors report having been stalked by a patient or a former patient at some time.

Out of about 600 doctors, 123 of them reported that they have had a patient performed one or more stalking behaviors on at least three occasions, according to Kathleen C. Dougherty, MD, of Penn State University Medical Center in Hershey, Pa.

Dougherty administered a survey to 1100 doctors from two medical centers in Pennsylvania to get the results.

Stalking was divvied into 10 individual behaviors:

-- Spying or surveillance
-- Following
-- Loitering
-- Unwanted personal approaches
-- Unwanted phone calls at work or home
-- Unwanted written communications
-- Sending offensive material
-- Ordering or cancelling goods or services
-- Spreading rumors or making false reports
-- Interfering with property.

As one can see, these behaviors are somewhat subjective. Nonetheless, almost 40 percent reported experiencing at least one of the behaviors. Female doctors were stalked with the same frequency as men, but female doctors tended to have male stalkers, whereas male doctors had both male and female stalkers.

One doctor said that he'd had a loaded gun put to his head by one patient, although most of the time doctors could not determine what their stalker's motivation was.

Source: Medpage Today

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