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IgD

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A senior medical officer is widely rumored to have had an inappropriate relationship with a resident while he was an attending. The couple are now married. What do you think of this situation and should action be taken?
 

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If they were both officers, it's not fraternization.

If they were not in the same command chain, nor in a supervisor/subordinate relationship, then it should be fine, provided they're not widely-apart in rank.

If he used his rank to help her out, or intervene on her behalf, etc, then that might be considered inappropriate.

The military buzz-phrase associated with these types of things is "prejudicial to good order and discipline." Appearances also matter... the military often argues that "appearance is reality" in cases like this. As long as their relationship didn't create an appearance of impropriety, or cause somebody else to throw the bullsh*t flag, then I don't see a problem.

The military also sometimes preaches against relationships between company and field-grade officers, based on disparity in rank.

How about some more details? That would give us a better idea of how to judge this one.
 

IgD

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It was a superior/subordinate relationship because they were involved while the woman was a resident and he was her attending. Soon after they graduated they got married. If they would have been caught in the act no question it would have been unethical and improper conduct.

LOL well if anything it shows you the quality of people I've been running into lately!
 
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resxn

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From what I understand, even officer/enlisted relationships cannot be prosecuted after the fact (after they got married) if there was no overt evidence to suggest impropriety beforehand.

In other words, you can get away with it if you can get away with it.

It still was stupid and unethical. Even at my civilian institution an attending would be fired for such behavior--in fact it happened in the OB/Gyn dept while I was there.
 

core0

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Just an aside - something I've never had clear in my head: O-4 - is that company or field grade? Or, alternately, is the MAJ/LCDR a junior or a senior officer?

As for the OP, it was wrong when it happened, but I don't know what repercussions may occur now.

O1-03 are company grade officers in the Army, Air Force and Marines.
O4-O6 are field grade
O7 and up are general officers

In the navy the progression is
Junior Grade, Mid-Grade, and Flag

David Carpenter, PA-C
 

NavyFP

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O1-03 are company grade officers in the Army, Air Force and Marines.
O4-O6 are field grade
O7 and up are general officers

In the navy the progression is
Junior Grade, Mid-Grade, and Flag

David Carpenter, PA-C

But you have to be a Commander to be considered a senior officer in the Navy.
 

Mirror Form

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It still was stupid and unethical.

I'd normally agree with you. However, if they ended up getting married than it was obviously too good a thing for them to ignore while working together.

What would have been stupid would be if they missed out on such a great relationship due to the off chance that they were idiotic enough to get caught.
 

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Even at my civilian institution an attending would be fired for such behavior--in fact it happened in the OB/Gyn dept while I was there.

Something similar happened in an army hospital I was at previously. They were both completley screwed 100%, but that was more b/c they were both committing adultery (very stupid b/c his wife hired a PI and got them busted). Had it not been adultery, I'm not sure if people would have cared enough to get anyone fired.

Actually, that brings up another point. Typically these innappropriate relationships only surface when one of them is married and gets busted by their spouse. Otherwise, where would hard evidence (that could hold up in court) come from? Just b/c everybody suspects something doesn't mean the're going to get photographic evidence like a well paid PI will.
 

swpm

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IgD said:
they were involved while the woman was a resident and he was her attending

What would have been stupid would be if they missed out on such a great relationship due to the off chance that they were idiotic enough to get caught.

Are you kidding? This was a teacher-student relationship - totally inappropriate, always, without exception, for a number of reasons.

Even now, well after the fact, the whole thing stains her achievement as a resident, and opens up questions regarding whether or not her fellow residents received fair treatment at the time.
 

Ex-44E3A

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I had a teacher-student relationship with my wife when I was in residency (she was a medical student). The only month we ever worked together was after we'd been married. Of course, I recused myself from doing any sort of evaluating or grading, and tried my best not to supervise her, but we had a lot of contact working in the same department.

About halfway into the month, one of the attendings pulled me aside and started criticising me on my "chummy" relationship with the female student. He said he "understood" that she was cute, but warned me against starting a relationship with her, and advised that the other students might complain about favoritism.

I laughed... I couldn't help it. He started to scowl, and I quickly said "ummm... she's my wife," but he didn't lighten up until I informed him that I wasn't grading her (not on academic work anyway :laugh: )

Yes, even civilian institutions frown on power-disparate relationships (and they should)... the military just has bigger legal hammers to swing.
 

resxn

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Are you kidding? This was a teacher-student relationship - totally inappropriate, always, without exception, for a number of reasons.

Even now, well after the fact, the whole thing stains her achievement as a resident, and opens up questions regarding whether or not her fellow residents received fair treatment at the time.

Which is exactly why I said it was stupid and unethical. I'm all for love but when it's inappropriate it's inappropriate. It sucks to find love when it's inappropriate (such as in the case of infidelity that is not just for the physicality), but it doesn't change the fact that it's wrong.

As far as Ex is concerned, he' was already married so I see no conflict with how he managed that situation. In fact, I think he handled that well by being open and honest and avoiding supervision as much as possible. This happened in our department for a month as well between a resident and his med student wife.

But I also find it very funny that his attending thought his wife was cute--maybe he told you to take it easy because he was interested?
 

Ex-44E3A

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But I also find it very funny that his attending thought his wife was cute--maybe he told you to take it easy because he was interested?

heh... I laughed about that too... but I really think he was legitimately trying to advise me. Anyway, I wasn't worried about any territorial issues. My wife is one of those women who's a pick-up artist's worst nightmare; more than tough enough to handle an advance without any help.
 

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This is simple and not simple. The quick legal answer (from a Navy perspective) is that if it's an O-3 and O-4 and above, bad news, grounds for frat. Why do I know a lot about frat, cause my wife is an academy grad. I'm an academy grad, we ain't the same year. But we started dating when she was a soph and me a junior, no frat. But still, I learned the rules.
As far as the student teacher thing, I have no idea what the military does. There is this show on ABC called Grey's anatomy. Apparantly the rest of America thinks its ok, cause they watch it. Wouldn't use it as a legal excuse.
Love happens, unless undue preferential treatment happened that you can prove, leave it be. There are plenty of other things to get worked up about, since you may not be able to do anything about this, let it go.
 
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