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Treating Family & Friends

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Nat Smith, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Nat Smith

    Nat Smith Active Member

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    We've all got the "Aunt with the bunion", the "mate with a wart", even new acquaintances that whip off their shoes as soon as you mention you're a pod...(I've even had this happen in a restaurant - before the entree!).

    So, what do you all do? Do you willingly treat family and friends? Do you charge them - free, full price or a discount? What happens if their Rx doesn't go as expected?

    I find that it obviously depends on the person, but I've had various experiences with treating family and friends, and not all of them ended well.

    I tend to charge them whatever it is to just cover the costs. I feel awkward asking them to pay up. There's only one that I feel takes a little bit of advantage of the situation. I know pods who don't discount anything at all, but I'd personally feel uncomfortable charging them full price.

    I've successfully done orthotics that resolved my aunt's plantar fasciitis and I do a regular general rx for the mother of one of my best friends. I have however done orthoses for a friend who did not follow my advice properly and has been less than compliant. These are the tricky ones that can get a little awkward.

    What experiences have you all had? Do you find it easy to help out your loved ones, or feel a little uncomfortable when it comes to payment? Do you just avoid treating them all together?

    Nat Smith
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Active Member

    Personally I treat my immediate family (husband/kids) and my parents for free. I am fortunate in that the rest of my family are scattered around the country and try not to treat 'over the phone', if I think they need to see someone then I will ensure they find someone HPC registered. As for friends I might give them advice but if they need treatment they make an appt like anyone else;)
  3. fatboy

    fatboy Active Member

    i don't treat family or friends, and if new acquaintances ask me to have a look i ask if they would do the same if i told them i was a gynaecologist.

    You might have gathered i don't do 'private' work.
  4. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    What do you expect when you call a close friend who is a mechanic to fix your car?
    Have you gone to him because he will do it a bit cheaper or because you trust him?
    l think most come to friend or family because of the trust/care factor, its huge.

    We do have a standard discount off for "close" Friends and family, except a financially struggling friend that we know of, there is always something that has just gone on sale;)

    Oh and a discount for referring Pods also:D
    .............You know the new Kumfs winter range is in now Nat?
  5. Nat Smith

    Nat Smith Active Member

    Thanks Dave..I'll pop around soon to catch up.

  6. Zuse

    Zuse Active Member

    I often get friends and famialy asking me questions about there feet. as i have only been working for 6 months and still have a lot to learn, i think it is advisable not to pretend to know somting you dont. just advise them to book an apointment with there local nhs trust or privat podiatrist (hpc regesterd) if you ar in doubt and worried!
  7. I'm with fatboy. Its a mugs game. I still do it from time to time but I ALWAYS kick myself afterward. If all goes tits up its awkward. If all goes well you've made a rod for your own back.

    :D You don't charge your kids?! Shameful.

    I plan to let mine pay me in kind. That chimney ain't gonna sweep itself!
  8. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Have to agree (shame the kids are too big for chimneys though).

    My tale of woe.........................

    My family are from Liverpool. In itself is a good thing. Fab' sense of humour, very close & we always help one another.

    Bad thing = all scouse famillies names begin with the same letter.


    There's R Ian, R Sharon, R Gail etc. etc.... & then there's me.... R Mandy.

    My name has the added addition of 'R Mandy won't mind.' :rolleyes:

    I blame my Nan (R Vera). God rest her soul. xxx

    She would use a serrated bread knife on her hard skin when her callus required attention as 'It gets more skin off girl'!

    Then I qualified..... R Mandy then (for the last 12 years made the 6 weekly 200 mile trip aver the tops on the M62 to initially treat Nan.

    Oh my how the family swells when somethings free!!!!

    Don't get me wrong I love them all. Even visiting rellies from Oz would ensure their squillion mile trip to see the scousers coincided with my 6 weekly dom visit.

    Fortunately my car runs on fresh air & I don't like time off so I was overjoyed to continue. Until! Thought this is really beyond a joke & instead of looking forward to seeing my family I was growing a new body part. A backbone. ;)

    R Dot was referred to the NHS (She {in her words} is a 'lil bit dibettick & 'as ter look after 'er feet')!

    R add any name here was advised accordingly RE: self care. :empathy:

    I also fell into the habit when I 1st qualified of treating friends for free.

    I learned eventually that true friends do NOT expect free they come to me because they trust me & value my professional skills. It just took me a while to realise this is not a hobby. This is my profession.

    I have friends in business. My best friend runs a convenience store. I pay the going rate for groceries & she pays the going rate for her foot care.

    My advice is start as you mean to go on.

    I still wouldn't charge immediate family though I would be less inclined to dig myself into a never ending cycle of expected, palliative care when they are more than capable of self treating.

    It's a learning curve.

    Just remembered this bit.......... My brother (R Ian, who is an actor) came to visit one Christmas day with his then wife.

    He asked would I look at their feet. I asked where they having problems? He said not but thought I would like to take a professional glance at them both prior to Christmas dinner. I asked him would he perform a little Shakespeare for me. He looked puzzled & asked why?

    I said I don't expect him to 'do' his job while he's off, then don't expect me to do mine!

    People only become a pain if you let them.

    Stop before you start. :eek:
  9. Airlie

    Airlie Active Member

    I treat family and friends and ask them to merely cover my costs. Immediate family usually pay me in dinners and concert tickets. Mum and dads corns are removed and mobilisations performed for a sunday roast

    I have been involved in the same sports club for 15 years, so everyone is a 'friend'. I tell everyone to come and see me at my private practice, and discount if they are actually a friend. funnily enough its only the actual friends who ever take up this offer :)

    Socially I used to usually have another sip of wine and sugest my scalpel skills arent so great with Riesling, this usually gets the message accross and now that I cant use that excuse as I am pregnant, people dont ask anyway, funny huh ?
  10. charlie70

    charlie70 Active Member

    Lol at Mandy's post!
    I have a small family and I'm an unsociable git so a small circle of friends. I treat em all for free when they ask. I've no problem with it. The only time I'd charge is if I prescribed an orthosis but then it would be for the cost of the orthosis & postage, no mark-up.

    Its definitely each to their own!
    One thing I did learn: do not attempt a bio assessment after midnight when more than a bit squiffy! Entertaining, but not very useful.

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