Take one huge ego, mix with an immense lack of medical knowledge and, voila, you are now an expert on any and every chronic condition around.
Unfortunately, chronic lifers are used to receiving unsolicited advice from those who know nothing about their condition yet claim to have a magical cure that no one else, not even the medical profession, has heard of. Most of us ignore such ridiculous advice and move on. In this case, no damage has been done. Other than to our friends who have to listen as we vent our frustrations about being accosted by yet another self-proclaimed expert.
The opportunity for damage does arise however, when these medicine men preach their drivel to the vulnerable. So many of us have been in that position before. Having visited countless health professionals, undergone a myriad of tests and attempted unsuccessful after unsuccessful treatment or, worse yet, been told there is no treatment available, you become desperate. At this point, anyone who says they can help may just become the beacon of hope you have been looking for.
This week in Australia, we have a chef doling out advice on osteoporosis. Granted, said chef was actually asked for his opinion on the subject but instead of reminding the questioner that he is in fact an expert in how to prepare food, not its medical benefits in those with a chronic illness, he went straight ahead and told her to remove all dairy from her diet. Yes, you read that correctly.
So, for all of us who have had to listen to stupid advice on how to manage our chronic condition, take a look at the glory that is Dr Brad Robinson in the ultimate stick-to-what-you-know smack down of the week.
Dear Pete Evans, I presume you have forgotten (silly you!) so please allow me to remind you. You are a chef, NOT a doctor. Further, you are not someone who magically knows things that the sum total of generations of medical research has determined. You do not have access to information that we uneducated doctors do not. Your astounding advice about osteoporosis would be amusing if it wasn’t so potentially damaging to anyone at risk who actually believed you. Even worse, your advice to the user of an anti-cholesterol medication to cease its use is – through an increased risk of stroke and heart attack if your advice were followed – potentially deadly. Can we make a deal? You don’t give medical advice and I won’t tell you how to best shuck oysters. Agreed? Regards, Dr Brad
Glorious, isn’t it.