Remember one thing: A Doctor or Lawyer dispensing advice or opinions on a network T.V. or radio
program is mindful that the show is there primarily to entertain. It might also educate, but that is secondary.
Often this means promoting, or at least not being critical of dubious and unproven health products, and offering legal advice without being sure of the true nature of the matter as it pertains to our legal system.
Acquiring the education and passing the necessary hurdles to legally practice Medicine or Law in the U.S. is a tremendous accomplishment, both intellectually and emotionally. You don't fake your way through Medical or Law school, you earn it.
However, what the general public must understand is that Doctors and Lawyers are, after all, still human beings. Dedicated and brilliant as they may seem, some will succumb to the influences of fame and easy money. This can sometimes lead to questionable judgments that are not in the best interests of the Audience, Society or the Public Image of the given profession.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
- No MD is an expert in all fields of medicine, and no attorney is an expert in all parts of the law. Is the opinion or advice really in their area of expertise, if not, how far removed are they?
- To what degree will they profit in choosing one side over another, do they have a vested interest in the outcome?
- Are they promoting themselves as having special knowledge or expertise that is not known or available to others?
- Sometimes your judged by the company you keep. Who are their allies? What types of Individuals or groups agree with the opinions being offered, and who are opposed?
- This last one especially applies to the medical field- What type or manner of evidence is provided supporting their point of view? Is it based on Proper Peer Reviewed Clinical Trials? Can it withstand scrutiny by the Scientific Method? How much of the evidence is anecdotal? Anecdotal evidence is virtually useless in establishing the worth of any drug or treatment.
So, no matter who you are watching or listening to, always keep an open mind.
Your life may literally depend on it.
Look for future entries in this category.