My long-overdue medical disclaimer

Older male physician in lab coat with stethoscope around neck writing prescription

This is so not me.

Over the past month, I’ve invited a few medical professionals I respect highly to take a look at my blog. I realized to my horror after they read that I might have been wise to include a medical disclaimer somewhere in here. Remember, I am just your average gal with an unfortunate variety of complicated medical problems, including cancer.

With my professional training, I am entitled to the “Dr.” title, but I’m just not the doctor type. I insist that clients call me Annie; Dr. is much too formal for me. Also, to be honest, and risking the offence of my professional peers, I don’t consider myself a real doctor.

I do use the title for professional interactions, even though doing so feels somewhat fraudulent, given my imposter syndrome and all. If I want to speak directly to a physician, I’ll be sure to let her receptionist know that I’m a doctor too. I also have Dr. on my credit cards. I’ve often wondered whether my pharmacist, who has seen those cards too many times, understands why I ask such uninformed questions about potential medication interactions and side effects.

Doctor of psychology or not, I am merely a layperson when it comes to my health, a fact that I should have stressed much earlier in this blogging process. Sometimes I think it would help me if I were a physician because I’d better understand my body, but then I remember that too much knowledge would overwhelm me. Best I muddle through as your average Jill and count on my medical team to educate me.

I write about my medical experiences based on what doctors have told me, but there are many opportunities for my own misinterpretations or misunderstandings or wishful distortions. I’ve done my best to grasp my own medical complexities in order to be able to ask informed questions and understand the answers. I think anyone who wants to advocate for her health needs to do the same. Now that’s advice I can safely urge you to follow.

Now that I think of it, perhaps I’ll have to get one of those kind knowledgeable physician-readers to be the medical consultant on my blog. I’m sure one could add this to his schedule. Okay, forget that; I’ve never met a physician who isn’t flying by the seat of his or her pants every minute of the day (and often through the night). That’s why they deserve the oft-maligned big bucks.

Please take any medical information I provide with a humongous grain of salt. Don’t act on anything I’ve done without checking it with your own medical team. I could be misinformed, I could be wrong, I could be stupid, who knows how else I might be misleading you. Sometimes, like in my previous post, I’m nonchalant about the medical advice I don’t heed. I’d hate to discover that you’ve suffered ill consequences by following my lead. Please listen to your wise medical advisors and do what they say.

When it comes to psychological advice, however, I’m much more trustworthy. I may not be a real doctor, but I did study for years to get that darn degree.


4 thoughts on “My long-overdue medical disclaimer

  1. I can’t help but feel that this might be directed at me…. 🙂
    Would love to be your medical proof-reader, but really you don’t need it. I love reading your posts, and I think they provide great insight and value without any “medical interference”… doubt you get enough of that already!!

    Now, let’s talk about that bowl of Ramen noodles Dr. S…….


  2. Annie, now that I have read this particular blog about your lack of medical knowledge, I have decided to order, as a gift for you, the Reader’s Digest book, Become a Doctor in a Day. I am sure it will be chock full of interesting medical information. Who knows – after reading it you may decide to be a medical doctor instead of a psychologist and then you too can share in the big bucks.


    • Pat: That is so very considerate of you. And think of the time that book will save me, now that I can be a medical expert without even attending medical school. I’m sure my doctor-consultants will now be relieved to be rid of the burdensome task of editing my blog as well. You’ve killed several birds with one paperback stone! Thank you!


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