DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was at a party where a retired physician started asking me questions about whether or not I had had various medical tests.
I know that the tests she asked about are recommended for women of my age, but I also believe that this is a conversation for me to have with my own physician. She might well be asking out of a genuine desire to share her medical wisdom, but I found it rude to be interrogated by a stranger in a social situation. How could I have handled this without being disrespectful?
GENTLE READER: Resist the temptation to ask if the state medical board knows she is still practicing medicine -- and at parties, where it is presumably impossible to protect a patient's legal right to privacy. Instead, Miss Manners suggests you thank her for her interest and explain that being a physician herself, she will understand that you discuss medical problems only with your own doctor.