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How Free Is Free Advice?

I have heard it said, that some of the most expensive advice is free advice.  I have also heard it said that advice is like opinions, and opinions are like armpits (or fill in another anatomical part); Everyone has one and it stinks.  Taking someone’s advice where it isn’t qualified can get you in a lot of trouble. I bring this up as I have recently had an experience where someone’s advice may quite possible end up causing someone significant and permanent injury/damage because the advice given is completely contradictory to what the patient needs.  Unfortunately, advice given by an unqualified individual, is usually taken by someone that is looking for an easy answer; whether or not the information is correct.

In the event of someone looking for medical advice, the logical approach would be to seek out that information from a healthcare professional.  What I’m about to say may probably ruffle feathers, and irritate those that fall victim to this particular thought process.  However, I have watched this practice evolve into a growing concern, so I feel obligated to voice my thoughts on this regardless of popular public opinion.

Personal Testimony versus Healthcare Professionals’ Diagnosis

There have been multiple individuals that come into my office with the “Latest Miracle Product” with claims of healing the world, by individuals that are taking on the role of a healthcare practitioner without the required demands of medical school.  They bring in these products that they want me to sell to my patients, or to build my line under them, and yes these have all been multi-level-marketing products, because it would help my patients so much.

I ask these questions in my mind every time they approach me.  If the people they sell their products to have a bad reaction, who picks up the pieces?  Them? To what qualifications or training do they possess that allows them to properly diagnose a patient or a reaction and provide the appropriate remedy?  I can ensure you that many of them, if not the vast majority, do not have even the slightest clue.  Their only response can be, “call tech support”, and pray for a resolution that doesn’t involve a lawsuit.

But their advice is sound, right? Wrong! Their advice is borderline illegal if you ask me.  It falls dangerously close to practicing without a license.  But because it is a supplement, it isn’t regulated.  So buyers beware!

Now, I know that this has nothing to do with auto accidents, but in an indirect way it does.  When an employee of an insurance company tells a patient that since they don’t have any symptoms, they do not need to keep coming, it brings it to the same level of practicing medicine without a license.  Why would I say that? Here’s my logic: A lay person, who probably has, at best, nothing more than a Bachelor diploma, is making decisions that only a licensed healthcare professional is authorized to make; who has never once even seen the patient, and is only going off a symptom checklist, is making decisions that could ultimately create a lifelong level of pain and problems. That to me is like having a plumber tell you that he’s sure your colon is fine because you don’t any pains, and that you should trust him because he is pretty familiar with pipes.

No one would do that.  No one in his or her right mind would ever listen to a plumber that gives medical advice that only a proctologist is qualified to give.  And yet, we hear all the time that a non-qualified insurance claims adjuster is giving medical advice to a patient.

I seem to be on a rant right now, but I’m finally fed up with the outright bastardization of the healthcare profession from incompetent, unqualified, and the absolute inappropriate behavior of employees of the insurance giants.  So if you find yourself in the situation similar to this one, because believe me, it will happen, please find it within yourself to realize that the free advice to stop your care is coming from someone who has no legal right or consequences in sharing what is often misconstrued as medical advice.

Just remember, “Some of the most expensive advice, is free advice”.  If you have questions regarding your care, talk to your physician.  If you don’t like your physician, get a new one.  Ask questions to those that have the alphabet soup after their names, not ones that will likely have a new career in a year or too because they are bored or got fired because they didn’t conform.  Physicians have dedicated countless hours that turned into years of education for this exact purpose.

If you are a crash victim in St. George, then the Whiplash Center of Utah is your headquarters for injury recovery.  We are an office that is dedicated to the recovery of injuries sustained in a car crash.  If you have any questions, or have recently been involved in a crash, please call 435-674-7515 to schedule your appointment and we will take care of the rest.