Hello, reddit. English is not my native language, so excuse any typos or innacuracies regarding medical terms.
The title expresses a thought I had a while ago, when I joked with a friend of mine who's an architect that she'd help me design my room someday. She answered something about her prices, which I found completely reasonable. But this got me thinking afterwards.
I have treated her many times. Just last week she called me with strong abdominal pain and nausea and I explained the possible diagnosis, recommended some medications for her and asked her to keep in contact along the day to keep me informed.
I treated her family members a handful of times, too. She even created a group in Whatsapp with other two friends who are also physicians because her father was ill about a year ago (I don't remember specifics, but it lasted a few days) and she used it many times since then when her at least 3 family members got sick (that I can think of now).
None of us ever charged her a penny for this. A couple of days ago, another friend commented how she was feeling kind of anxious. I offered her to come to my house so that we could talk and see if the had some anxiety disorder and possibly prescribe something. I didn't charge her. These are the most recent situations, but there are many other examples just like them in my still very short career as a physician.
I see a lot of posts on social media going on about how you should value the work of your friends, normally those in creative industries, and how offensive it is when you expect them to work for free just because you're a friend. I see it especially often with graphic designers (oh yeah, I've seen one of those for free, too). I understand the sentiment, but I honestly never thought about charging a friend for anything, and they have never, ever offered to pay or given me some sort of thank you gifts, either. Considering how the consultation is often time-consuming, the actual responsibility that comes with every word and prescription from a physician and how demanding the investment to become a doctor is, I really can't see why someone who thinks that designers should not work for free wouldn't apply the same rule for doctors.
Why is it so? Is this your experience, too? Do you guys actually charge your friends?
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