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The question

I gave my doctor - who happens to be single and good-looking - a Christmas card with some flirty language in it. Okay, maybe I made a double-entendre about his stethoscope. I was just joking around. But at my appointment this week, he was acting all weird. The thing is, it's really hard to find a good doctor.

The answer

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Well, it could've been worse. You could have been seeing your proctologist about a pain in your backside, and when he said, "God, it's no wonder you're in pain, there are a dozen roses in here," you could have shouted out: "Read the card! Read the card!"

Old joke, sorry. It can be difficult to navigate the personal aspects of these types of professional relationships - especially if there's any potential for attraction involved.

With doctors it's particularly ticklish, though. Because a doctor can say, "Okay, why don't you pop off your top and unsnap your bra. I'd like to feel your breasts," and since he's wearing a white coat, and you're in a room full of shiny instruments and framed degrees, you say, "Right you are, Doc," and do as he asks.

Whereas if you were in a bar and he were wearing a shiny shirt and Axe body spray, you'd throw your drink in his face.

What I'm trying to say is this: To break that aura of professionalism and introduce even a whiff of flirtation into the clinical setting might have sent off all kinds of ethical, career-preservation danger signals in the cranial cavity of Dr. McDreamy.

Next time you see him, I would just say something casually to try to de-awkwardize the situation: "Hey, I hope you didn't take what I said in my card the wrong way. I was just trying to be funny, and express some of my appreciation for the fact you're such a good doctor."

Even if you're basically lying - even if you were secretly flirting with the guy - it will allow you both to breathe a sigh of relief and return to a strictly professional, doctor-client relationship.

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On the other hand, maybe you want to cross that Rubicon and date Dr. Goodlooking.

In which case, well, first, get yourself another GP. Then attempt to contact Dr. McLovin outside the context of his office (e.g. Facebook).

Good luck! It's a long shot, but the payoff could be huge: You'd get a good man who makes a good living and free medical advice, all in one easy-on-the-eyes package.

Just establish certain ground rules. For example, he has to turn off the forensic part of his brain in the heat of things. When things get hot and heavy, no going: "Huh, that's interesting, I've never seen that before."

On the other hand, it might be kind of sexy to play doctor with a real doctor. You might find some creative uses for that stethoscope after all.

David Eddie is the author of Chump Change and Housebroken: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad. Damage Control, the book, was released in March.

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