Guidelines for Medical Advice over the Phone or Internet

You would be surprised what happens when people find out you are a physician. Suddenly everyone wants medical advice….. and when you are a physician, your heart is to share your knowledge for the benefits of others…. so why not?

Well sometimes it takes a while to see the big picture. And after some time I realized my efforts to try to benefit others with casual advice was not creating the same great results I was getting in my practice setting.

Good science is based on the Scientific Method…. and above all I think of myself as a scientist. I am always curious about how things work. Postulating how to assess what the underlying forces are. Observing to gain insight to systems. So I observed the differences between the impact of care that I provided ‘off the cuff’ versus the care I offered as a professional in the context of a therapeutic relationship. And I concluded that while both had some initial benefit, people that worked with me experienced profound long lasting changes in their health while people who were just looking for cheap convenient acute care generally moved on from one thing to another, never really making much change – often concluding that natural medicine doesn’t work and opting for allopathic care.

Several things struck me. One is that people learn differently and have different expectations of their own health. Secondly is that, for my practice anyway, the philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine and teaching how to think about health makes for a significantly more successful experience…. And lastly, responsible healthcare is based on traditional methods of assessment such as medical and family history, examination, and careful evaluation of treatment.

It might seem like giving off the cuff advice on the bus to a stranger would be an act of compassion. Certainly the heart strains that way. But does it actually help? And what principles does it promote? Genuinely skilled professionals have good boundaries and when their skills are utilized according to basic guidelines for safety and employing good science methods…offer huge benefit.

So understand up front that decent care or advice from a skilled professional will not ever happen by posting a question on a blog…. I’ll save you the trouble and tell you that DIY medicine or health food store medicine is very different from what I do. These services are readily available and help many people with minor ailments or problems that are solved simply by a general approach. But more complicated issues take skill and time.

You can expect answers about Naturopathic Medicine, the philosophy of care, different modalities, etc. I am very proud of what I do, very passionate about my profession. but please don’t ask me for medical advice And under no circumstances ask me: ‘what do you do for…..’?

If you do write, show me you are able learn by reading and following a suggested sequence….Include the comment, “I have read the information about asking questions by email on your blog” in the first line so I know you read this!

More Articles: The Question We Can Not Answer

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DrkarenErickson Office and Staff

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