DEAR MISS MANNERS: Often, when I’m with acquaintances who have no medical expertise, I find that one person will offer health advice to another with a complaint or recent diagnosis. This advice is inappropriate at best, potentially harmful at worst. For example, “You should take three ibuprofen every four hours; that’s what the doctor told my husband for his knee” -- the husband in question being a 250-pound man, while the advice is for a 110-pound woman with not-yet-diagnosed shoulder pain.
I don’t want to be rude and counter the person’s advice, nor do I want to seem to be privately advising the recipient to ignore the advice. What’s an appropriate comeback for inappropriate medical advice?
GENTLE READER: You do not mention your profession, but, given your objection to acquaintances practicing medicine without a license, it seems reasonable to Miss Manners to infer that you have relevant professional expertise.
If that is the case, then you will also want to avoid saying anything that puts you to work (“OK, then what is your diagnosis?”).
If you are not a doctor, you will have to be even more circumspect if you wish to avoid being accused of hypocrisy. In all cases, the correct response is, ”You might want to talk to your doctor about that.”