Where Are You Getting Your Medical Advice?

Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Blog, Medical |

bad medical advice

Beware where you get medical advice! This is a frustrating issue that I deal with frequently. Most people get medical advice from those with no medical training. The most common sources of such advice is family and friends and the internet.

I saw a guy who was sent by his psychologist to discuss medications. He goes to AA regularly, and informed me that his sponsor advised that he not take medications. When I asked who his sponsor was he said “Joe. He’s a plumber. He’s a really nice guy”. When I asked why he would listen to Joe the plumber for medical advice he replied “He really knows the program and is a bright guy who really knows his stuff”.(You can’t make this stuff up!) He thankfully followed my advice and is doing well with his treatment for depression and anxiety, which is what contributed greatly to his addictions and relapses.

I take my car to the mechanic when it needs help, I go to the barber for a haircut and I get my computer fixed by a guy who knows how to do that. Think about how much more complex the human body and nervous system are. Think about how many years of schooling it takes in order to be licensed to give medical advice, and that after several years of practice one gets better and better at it. I’m not saying I don’t make mistakes, because I and every other doctor does.(Thats why they call it a “practice”). In this area of medicine in particular there’s alot of trial and error. However, I’m right much more often than I’m wrong, more likely than the plumber, your hairdresser, the computer guy, your parents or siblings, your health-food store clerk, non-medical health care providers, etc.

When advice is given on the internet such as websites and chatrooms it seems believable since it is in print, but who are these people and what do they know about your specific individual needs? Most of the information from these sources is scary and negative, even the company websites, since all such information is controlled and regulated by the FDA. That’s like getting medical advice from attorneys! Feel free to email me your questions and comments about this or any other topic. Bye for now.   Dr.C

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