How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr Wu Your Own Question

Dr Wu
Dr Wu, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1835
Experience:  Board certified in family medicine.
4968719
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr Wu is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A former friend, who is a pschiatrist, tells acquaintances that I am Bipolar.

Customer Question

What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA

I recently parted with a friend, who is a a PGY3 psychiatric resident. The parting was quite bad. I suffer from depression, which she knows as we were friends. However, I have learned she is telling acquaintances that I am Bipolar, which I am not nor have been ever been diagnosed with. I believe she may have included in her stories to said acquaintances about my depression diagnosis, and how she believes I have manic issues which lead to her conclusion that I suffer from Bipolar disorder. The former seems like libel or slander issue while the latter appears to be a violation of my privacy. Please advise. Should I see a lawyer or should I speak with her clerkship director?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr Wu replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Thank you for using Justanswer.

 

Your psychiatrist friend is still new in the field of medicine and probably doesn't realize the gravity of what she has done. Legally speaking, since she is technically not your psychiatrist, she did not have the legal obligation to protect your privacy. What she did what hurtful and unprofessional, but not illegal.

 

Speaking with her clerkship director is not a bad idea. He/she needs to educate the residents so they do not make the same mistake again. Making psychiatric diagnosis in a casual manner can significantly damage another person's reputation.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

 

Dr Wu, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1835
Experience: Board certified in family medicine.
Dr Wu and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I understand that...however, she IS a an MD and has had already educated about the HIPPA laws (I was a former medical student and even I was required to attend HIPPA training). Even as a med student we are told that we are not to discuss patients in public (ie elevator) because that violates HIPPA. I understand that Drs try to protect one another. She tells alot of people which affects me socially and potentially professionally as many of them are professionals in various fields. At the very least she is accusing me of something I DO NOT have and this also seems like a slander/libel issue.
Expert:  Dr Wu replied 5 years ago.

I totally agree with you. What she did was wrong and unprofessional. Unfortunately this happens very often. She should be told not to do this, but to prosecute her in a court of law based on HIPAA violation is difficult because you are not her patient. She has no medical record of you.

 

Regarding the slander issue, I suppose you can try that angle. However, I do think that your idea of speaking to her clerkship director is a great one. Afterwards you can consider other options.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education