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MIAM2567

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Hey Everyone,
I am currently a pre-med(and a scribe) and will be applying next cycle.
I have faced sort of an obstacle at work... The physician I work the most with asked me out.
I am 22 and he is 30...... Normally this would totally gross me out, however, I am terrified that I won't be able to get a LOR that I've been needing for a while now.
It's not like I've done anything to lead him on; I wear baggy scrubs, my hair in a bun, little-no makeup, and I rarely ever talk about my personal life.
It's not fair that he put me in this position. It's also weird that he could possibly think about me this way considering I am so much younger than he is.
In addition, I don't just want to give him what he wants. I've worked really hard to have a good GPA and MCAT score. Now I have to consider destroying my integrity over a LOR.
WHAT SHOULD I DO? I don't want to go out with him, but I don't want to sacrifice the LOR when I have been working there for over a year.
Any advice would be much appreciated! No trolls, please:)
 
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CloverBale

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"Sorry I have a boyfriend" works like a charm.
 
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21Rush12

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Just say no thanks...it doesn’t have to be awkward.


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CloverBale

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Just say no thanks...it doesn’t have to be awkward.


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Not that easy. A lot of guys take it super personally when you reject them and will often times take it on you somehow. Doesn't matter their profession or age. I can't tell you the amount of times that has happened to me. Her best bet is to pretend like she has a boyfriend, that way he won't take it so personal.
 
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MIAM2567

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Usually, I would use the "I have a boyfriend" excuse, however, he knows I don't have a boyfriend because one of the nurses I work with told him I don't. Do you think he would feel "rejected" if I somehow got a boyfriend?
I just don't want this to backfire.
 
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CloverBale

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Usually, I would use the "I have a boyfriend" excuse, however, he knows I don't have a boyfriend because one of the nurses I work with told him I don't. Do you think he would feel "rejected" if I somehow got a boyfriend?
I just don't want this to backfire.
How long ago was that? Say you just got one, or better yet you're back with your ex.
 
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CloverBale

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Also how did the conversation go? Like did he ask you out for dinner and then you didn't say anything or?
 

MIAM2567

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How long ago was that? Say you just got one, or better yet you're back with your ex.

From what I understand she told the physician pretty recently. I could say I got back together with my ex! Do you think I'll be okay with this?
 
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CloverBale

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From what I understand she told the physician pretty recently. I could say I got back together with my ex! Do you think I'll be okay with this?
Yup! Saying you got with an ex will be perfect. He won't be offended since this is a relationship prior to him.
 
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MIAM2567

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Also how did the conversation go? Like did he ask you out for dinner and then you didn't say anything or?
This was yesterday. I gave him my number because he wanted to "coordinate" the LOR he would be writing for me and sent a message saying " You looked really cute the other day, also when are we going to get drinks;)".
He has asked me out a couple of times for drinks s/p work before, however, I always came up with an excuse. I also just thought of this as him being friendly, nothing more.
 
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The problem is that you want a work-related LOR from someone who does not act professional. Your best course of action is to get an LOR from one of the other doctors. Since you are applying next cycle, you'll have plenty of time to do so.
 
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MIAM2567

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The problem is that you want a work-related LOR from someone who does not act professional. Your best course of action is to get an LOR from one of the other doctors. Since you are applying next cycle, you'll have plenty of time to do so.
I am a student and also have another job, so the time I can work is limited and he seems to always be the person I am working with. My ED isn't that big, so it's not like I can hop to a different doctor.
 
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SpoiledMilk

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I have to be honest. Please don't get a LOR from this Dr!

First, LORs from doctors you work with per Adcoms here (@Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn ) are overrated and not given much thought by Admissions Committee, unless the school requires it. Say it is a DO school that requires it, contact another Dr. for shadowing.

Second, you have given hints to this Dr. that you are not interested by not taking him up on his offer. He is either intentionally ignoring your hints or clueless. Either way, his behavior is very unprofessional and the power dynamics of the relationship dictates that he should be reported to HR. (see the sexual harassment stories in the news lately.)

Third, as extreme as this may sound, but get in touch with a lawyer for their advice (not from SDN) because this might get messy!

Lastly, get a LOR from someone else. You can't trust what he will put in it. Even if you gives you the final copy to see, he will be the one to send it in and you cannot control what changes he might make before sending it after you turning him down so many times.
 
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Goro

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Hey Everyone,
I am currently a pre-med(and a scribe) and will be applying next cycle.
I have faced sort of an obstacle at work... The physician I work the most with asked me out.
I am 22 and he is 30...... Normally this would totally gross me out, however, I am terrified that I won't be able to get a LOR that I've been needing for a while now.
It's not like I've done anything to lead him on; I wear baggy scrubs, my hair in a bun, little-no makeup, and I rarely ever talk about my personal life.
It's not fair that he put me in this position. It's also weird that he could possibly think about me this way considering I am so much younger than he is.
In addition, I don't just want to give him what he wants. I've worked really hard to have a good GPA and MCAT score. Now I have to consider destroying my integrity over a LOR.
WHAT SHOULD I DO? I don't want to go out with him, but I don't want to sacrifice the LOR when I have been working there for over a year.
Any advice would be much appreciated! No trolls, please:)
Do NOT go out with him.
Do NOT ask him for a LOR.
I agree that there is a power dynamic here that crosses a line and this should be reported to HR.
As mentioned above, clinician LORs are considered fluff by MD schools. If you need one for a DO school, get it elsewhere.
 
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21Rush12

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I don’t know if anything the OP has said implies that this person has harassed or otherwise been inappropriate. Sounds like s/he just asked OP out. It doesn’t have to be a catastrophe, does it?


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SpoiledMilk

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I don’t know if anything the OP has said implies that this person has harassed or otherwise been inappropriate. Sounds like s/he just asked OP out. It doesn’t have to be a catastrophe, does it?
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OP states clearly that she is grossed out by his behavior and that she is terrified of the repercussions of not being able to get a LOR by turning him down. When there is a power dynamic involved and a subordinate feels uncomfortable in a work environment, that is textbook harassment period.
 
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MIAM2567

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Do NOT go out with him.
Do NOT ask him for a LOR.
I agree that there is a power dynamic here that crosses a line and this should be reported to HR.
As mentioned above, clinician LORs are considered fluff by MD schools. If you need one for a DO school, get it elsewhere.
I have to be honest. Please don't get a LOR from this Dr!

First, LORs from doctors you work with per Adcoms here (@Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn ) are overrated and not given much thought by Admissions Committee, unless the school requires it. Say it is a DO school that requires it, contact another Dr. for shadowing.

Second, you have given hints to this Dr. that you are not interested by not taking him up on his offer. He is either intentionally ignoring your hints or clueless. Either way, his behavior is very unprofessional and the power dynamics of the relationship dictates that he should be reported to HR. (see the sexual harassment stories in the news lately.)

Third, as extreme as this may sound, but get in touch with a lawyer for their advice (not from SDN) because this might get messy!

Lastly, get a LOR from someone else. You can't trust what he will put in it. Even if you gives you the final copy to see, he will be the one to send it in and you cannot control what changes he might make before sending it after you turning him down so many times.

I see what you are both saying, however, I don't think this is HR worthy. I guess I can look elsewhere for a LOR, but it's just a bummer I have been spending all this time for no LOR. I guess it's too risky to have him write my LOR when he could totally write something inappropriate.
So what do I say to him now? Should I just say "I don't need a LOR anymore, thanks anyways"?
 
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SpoiledMilk

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Just tell him that you have researched it and have gotten confirmation from Adcoms that Dr. LORs are not needed to the schools you are applying to and that you have already fulfilled the LOR quota from your professors. This is not a lie.

Don't delete those text messages! You might not be the only one he has come on to and who has felt uncomfortable.
 
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@MIAM2567 You work for an outside contracted scribe company to the ED and they usually have you paired to "favorite" doctor/s right?

That's why it's difficult to change the physician you are currently assigned to at the moment.
 
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•Syzygy•

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disgusting. this happened to a friend of mine but the situation was even worse / more predatory. the power dynamic is an unfortunate reality for women, and i really feel bad for them.

i cannot believe this kind of **** happens in that environment. truly mind boggling
 
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Mad Jack

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Are you sure he asked you out in the dating sense? I've had many an attending ask to grab a meal with me over the years just to talk and get to know me better.
 
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SpoiledMilk

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Are you sure he asked you out in the dating sense? I've had many an attending ask to grab a meal with me over the years just to talk and get to know me better.

Dude. Did you not read that the Dr texted her and commented that she was "cute." See post #11.

How many attendings have called you "cute?"
 
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Lost in Translation

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Are you sure he asked you out in the dating sense? I've had many an attending ask to grab a meal with me over the years just to talk and get to know me better.
That winky face though... he’s clearly playing the “bitches love winky faces” game.
 
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21Rush12

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OP states clearly that she is grossed out by his behavior and that she is terrified of the repercussions of not being able to get a LOR by turning him down. When there is a power dynamic involved and a subordinate feels uncomfortable in a work environment, that is textbook harassment period.

I think you’re right. Your comment made me think I was missing something, and in fact I missed the post about him follow up texting. In the case of him not taking hints/intertwining the business with personal, I think it’s not appropriate. If possible, OP should try to switch physicians and continue to be a good scribe and not let it detract from her experience. I do agree that the LOR would have little value anyway, and being able to talk about the experience in an app or interview is more important.


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Terror Billy

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Yeah absolutely DO NOT get a rec letter from him. Also you could tell him instead of you got back together with your ex, that you are currently "talking to someone," that might work because it confirms what the nurse said of you being single while simultaneously making clear that you may have a budding relationship with someone else... also not sure if reporting to HR is the right course here if you plan to work there longer. It's not right, but if you do report him, you will end up having to deal with the unpleasant circumstances (whatever that might be).
 
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Terror Billy

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This happens far too often in the ED Scribe world sadly...I know that almost all the female scribes in my group were prayed upon by multiple docs and residents (I saw the visual evidence and these guys faced no consequences). Also other ED docs used to talk about what went on at other locations with scribes, appalling to say the least.
 
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For the sake of echoing others and getting this point across: I also think that you do not need a letter from this person. MD letters do little to sway committees, so it'd be at best neutral, anyways.

Also, I think the "I'm talking to someone now" or "I just got back with my ex" would be a great way to deal with this sh*tty situation.
 
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what is wrong with some people
 

BombsAway

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Why is everyone's first instinct/advice to lie? Just tell the dude you don't want to date someone you work with, and that it would be inappropriate to discuss a LOR in that context to begin with. Just be an adult, this isn't a Harvey Weinstein situation.
 
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infectiousdisease101

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Do NOT go out with him.
Do NOT ask him for a LOR.
I agree that there is a power dynamic here that crosses a line and this should be reported to HR.
As mentioned above, clinician LORs are considered fluff by MD schools. If you need one for a DO school, get it elsewhere.

I wouldn't report it to HR unless he takes it personally and uses his position to hurt OP. Doing that is considered sexual harassment, but asking a co worker out isn't. Unless I'm missing something.

I wouldn't take that personally because if she's not interested, it wouldn't be a decent relationship anyway and if she wants a LOR I would write her a good one. But that's just me. Better to play it safe and not get a letter from that physician though.
 
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I wouldn't report it to HR unless he takes it personally and uses his position to hurt OP. Doing that is considered sexual harassment, but asking a co worker out isn't. Unless I'm missing something.

I wouldn't take that personally because if she's not interested, it wouldn't be a decent relationship anyway and if she wants a LOR I would write her a good one. But that's just me. Better to play it safe and not get a letter from that physician though.

This is a teachable moment.

For all pre-meds here (Male and Female) who will eventually become a resident/attending, when there is a power dynamic involved in the workplace, it does not matter how the person doing the harassment feels. What matters is what the person getting the unwanted attention feels. OP's description of how grossed out she feels makes the workplace hostile to her and that is all that matters.

Hence, while it is OP's choice to go to HR or not, please do not downplay this type of behavior as a coworker situation. Any kind of unwanted attention in the workplace that makes it really uncomfortable to the person getting said attention should not be tolerated at all.
 
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He has asked me out a couple of times for drinks s/p work before, however, I always came up with an excuse.

There was the problem. The first time it happened you should have just said no very clearly instead of coming up with excuses. It's difficult to do, but if he would persist after that, it would be harassment. It doesn't sound like you were clear with him and he thinks he still has a chance. Yes it is not fair of him to ask, and I know it's awkward for you because of the power difference, it is not your fault, but now you have to deal with it. I suggest you now cut your losses and say you got back together with your ex as others suggested. But in the future, a very clear and immediate no will go a long way. Speaking from personal experience.



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Goro

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There was the problem. The first time it happened you should have just said no very clearly instead of coming up with excuses. It's difficult to do, but if he would persist after that, it would be harassment. It doesn't sound like you were clear with him and he thinks he still has a chance. Yes it is not fair of him to ask, and I know it's awkward for you because of the power difference, it is not your fault, but now you have to deal with it. I suggest you now cut your losses and say you got back together with your ex as others suggested. But in the future, a very clear and immediate no will go a long way. Speaking from personal experience.
This!

And for you blissfully ignorant pre-meds who keep saying this isn't an HR issue, those of us who have had to spend interminable hours taking company mandated sexual harassment training beg to differ.
 
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infectiousdisease101

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There was the problem. The first time it happened you should have just said no very clearly instead of coming up with excuses. It's difficult to do, but if he would persist after that, it would be harassment. It doesn't sound like you were clear with him and he thinks he still has a chance. Yes it is not fair of him to ask, and I know it's awkward for you because of the power difference, it is not your fault, but now you have to deal with it. I suggest you now cut your losses and say you got back together with your ex as others suggested. But in the future, a very clear and immediate no will go a long way. Speaking from personal experience.



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OP didn't mention how the attending reacted to it. If they were cool with it, it hardly warrants reporting. The only thing OP is grossed out by is the age difference. The attending can't control being 8 years older than OP, but they can control whether or not they are professional despite this rejection. Any unprofessionalism warrants reporting to HR.

EDIT: Unless the training involves never asking out a co worker in a work environment I don't see how it warrants reporting.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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This!

And for you blissfully ignorant pre-meds who keep saying this isn't an HR issue, those of us who have had to spend interminable hours taking company mandated sexual harassment training beg to differ.

From someone who gets to be told annually not to rape my coworkers, I can say that it definitely is an HR issue.
 
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bioboy23

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Dang. Maybe Gray’s Anatomy isn’t so far off
 
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MIAM2567

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When he initially asked me to get drinks with him after work I thought he was just being nice, and I was actually busy.
Also we make our schedules two months out, so I can’t change my shifts around.

I messaged him after looking at the post “ Hey, I think you’re great, however I don’t think having a relationship outside of work is appropriate”.
Then he messaged back “ who said we’d have a relationship ;)
SOS what do I say back?!?
 

begoood95

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When he initially asked me to get drinks with him after work I thought he was just being nice, and I was actually busy.
Also we make our schedules two months out, so I can’t change my shifts around.

I messaged him after looking at the post “ Hey, I think you’re great, however I don’t think having a relationship outside of work is appropriate”.
Then he messaged back “ who said we’d have a relationship ;)
SOS what do I say back?!?
Holy hell. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

At this point, I hope you're following posters' advice on not getting a letter from him. You can shoot back a message clarifying, saying that "I don't think having a relationship of any sort beyond one that's strictly professional is appropriate, in or out of work." You can add to that saying that you're not in a position now to be in any sort of relationship, and if you want to, you could bring up your ex specifically and say that you're both "talking" again, which is why you don't want any sort of relationship beyond work.

I'm sure others have different responses; there are many ways to go about this, and if someone can think of a better response, OP needs some help!

This is also veering into a positively founded HR complaint. Please, think about this option.
 
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Coltuna

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How many providers are at your site? I would request to not be with this particular provider anymore.
 

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When he initially asked me to get drinks with him after work I thought he was just being nice, and I was actually busy.
Also we make our schedules two months out, so I can’t change my shifts around.

I messaged him after looking at the post “ Hey, I think you’re great, however I don’t think having a relationship outside of work is appropriate”.
Then he messaged back “ who said we’d have a relationship ;)
SOS what do I say back?!?

I've dealt with situations like this before. PM me for how to respond.
 
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Email him saying that the request makes you uncomfortable given the power dynamic and that you are not interested.

If he ever brings it up again, report to HR. Get the letter from someone else.

His behavior is so totally inappropriate.
 

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I messaged him after looking at the post “ Hey, I think you’re great, however I don’t think having a relationship outside of work is appropriate”.
Then he messaged back “ who said we’d have a relationship ;)
SOS what do I say back?!?
Ok, ok. I withdraw my initial optimism that he wasn't a douche.

Don't text back at all. Dude crossed the line.
 
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Biological

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Speaking as another female who has been in this situation (in multiple instances), there's a few things you need to do:
1. Stop making this some sort of game with him. By that I mean, no more weird excuses or trying to beat around the bush. Just send him a text saying "I'm sorry, but I'm not interested". Nothing less, nothing more. This makes it very clear in a polite way that you aren't interested. What you're doing now can actually be misconstrued as you trying to play "hard to get". That obviously isn't what you're doing, but that is something that happens and therefore something that will likely cross his mind when he's reading your responses. So take any chance of a misunderstanding away.
2. If that works and he drops it, great. Move on. If you feel awkward working with him, go to your chief scribe/boss/whoever you go to with concerns, explain the situation (politely - the word "gross" is not necessary in this conversation), and ask to be moved to a different provider.
3. If he does not drop it, file a complaint with HR immediately and make sure they get copies of all of your texts.

While his behavior is inappropriate, so far what he's done hasn't been horrific and may legitimately stem from a misunderstanding on his part. It's actually kind of amazing how often a politely phrased and VERY CLEARLY WORDED "I'm not interested" will work wonders.
 
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MIAM2567

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Definitely not getting a LOR from him.
I feel like what I said was straightforward. I think I might try the “talking to my ex” thing.
Also, I really don’t want to be the person who talks to HR. I’ve seen other people do it and they end up quitting. It's really hard to punish ED physicians around here because there is a shortage of them.
There are about 15 providers. We make our schedule 2 months in advance and I just happen to work mostly with him due to time constraints in my schedule.
Btw he sent me another message saying "we can chat tomorrow after work".
Honestly, now that this is going on, I don't know how I haven't seen this from the beginning. When he approaches me he always puts his hand on the small of my back. When my hair gets in my face he will push it behind my ear. He's talked about his sexual endeavors to me before. Meanwhile, I've just been super naive.
I don't know what to do. I work with him for the next couple months and it is nearly impossible to switch that many shifts in such a short period of time.
 

begoood95

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Definitely not getting a LOR from him.
I feel like what I said was straightforward. I think I might try the “talking to my ex” thing.
Also, I really don’t want to be the person who talks to HR. I’ve seen other people do it and they end up quitting. It's really hard to punish ED physicians around here because there is a shortage of them.
There are about 15 providers. We make our schedule 2 months in advance and I just happen to work mostly with him due to time constraints in my schedule.
Btw he sent me another message saying "we can chat tomorrow after work".
Honestly, now that this is going on, I don't know how I haven't seen this from the beginning. When he approaches me he always puts his hand on the small of my back. When my hair gets in my face he will push it behind my ear. He's talked about his sexual endeavors to me before. Meanwhile, I've just been super naive.
I don't know what to do. I work with him for the next couple months and it is nearly impossible to switch that many shifts in such a short period of time.
Remember, HR is not there to protect you; HR exists to protect the image of the company/corporation of which they represent. The fact that other people have approached HR, only to then quit, does not surprise me.

If you are in a totally uncomfortable position, and if you don't need the job, and if you think it is too much to deal with at this point, then you always have the option to quit and find employment elsewhere.

If and when you chat tomorrow, just be blunt, as @Biological has suggested. Tell him that you are not interested in him in any way; thank him for working towards the LoR, but then say that after researching a bit more, you don't actually need it anymore. He'll probably infer that this is because of his actions—but what he feels doesn't matter.

See what you can do about switching shifts. Obviously it won't be easy, but maybe mentioning that you're "uncomfortable" with your current assignment will help.
 

Biological

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I feel like what I said was straightforward. I think I might try the “talking to my ex” thing.
Please do not do this. If he is under the impression that you're just playing games with him, this will just make it worse. You need to be very clear with him at this point.
 
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