People keep coming to me for medical advice…but I’m not a doctor

Most annoying phrase ever said to a psychology major? “Don’t analyze me please!” Calm down, general public, we do not learn analyzing skills in undergrad. We mostly know how to answer multiple choice questions. My own mother has added to the list of most annoying things a psychology major will ever hear, when she complains about people she claims to me “you’re a psychologist, you should know!” Mom, trust me, I will never know.

I can only imagine how bad this kind of situation could be for medical students. As soon as people hear you’re attending medical school, they’ll start busting out their weird and disgusting medical problems you never wanted to see or hear about. But what if this happens to you and you’re not even a doctor, or training to be one? I feel as though this happens to me quite frequently.

I don’t think I give off a “doctor” vibe. I don’t randomly suggest various and incompatible causes and then rattle off a line about doing more tests and coming back for a follow up. I don’t keep you waiting for hours to then spend only 5 minutes with you. So then why do people think I could help them with their health issues?

I understand the passing of knowledge by mouth, yes, I will tell you about my experience but PLEASE do not believe every word I say. Please consult a physician. I am legally not allowed to give you medical advice. Because it could be wrong. I can be just as bad as Web MD.

So then why do people keep asking me? Maybe, as their friend, I am their first line of defense. See if I can figure it out, as the sane, level-headed friend, and maybe I can calm them. Or if I don’t know I can direct them to a doctor’s office. Which I always end up doing anyways.

I am the medical caveat at the bottom of the page. I am the long list of awful side effects at the end of a drug commercial. I am not to be trusted with your health! So please my friends, cease asking me for medical advice because I have none to give. Get your ass to the nearest walk-in pronto.

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