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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Will the REAL Doctor Please Stand Up?

Sweet Wifey and I went to the movies last night. Before the show begins, the theater has advertisements on the screen. One particular ad was talking about a medical clinic in Jackson, Tn. and mentioned a DOCTOR So-and So. On the first pass I thought I saw something a little funny. On the second pass I read the fine print and determined that DOCTOR So-and-So was not an MD doctor but rather held a degree called “Doctor of nursing practice”. Of course nowhere in the audio accompanying the ad was there a mention that Dr. So-and-So was not an MD.

Now I have no particular problem with nurse practitioners. In fact I preceptor a nurse practitioner (holds a masters degree) who is very well qualified and is smarter than a bunch of MD doctors I know.

What does bug me is when people slap the term DOCTOR in front of their name, implying that they are medical doctors but instead hold some other kind of doctorate.

Dr. Anna Marie
There is a “doctor” on TV called DOCTOR Anna Marie who advertises herself as a health specialist. I think she is somehow connected with the Weather Channel. I have seen a few of her spots from time to time and never do I remember a disclaimer from her telling the audience that she WAS NOT a medical doctor. No, she is a podiatrist. Now I don’t have anything against podiatrists. They have to go to school and have to perfect surgical skills to practice their profession. But if you’re going to advertise yourself as a doctor, you should specify what type of doctor you happen to be. I have nothing against Anna Marie DPM, but why do I have to do a search to discover her actual credentials? We had a staff podiatrist at a hospital where I used to practice. She could not admit patients on her own. One of us MD types had to do the admitting and then she could do her podiatric procedures. You get the idea. Rules may be different in other states.

I remember an ad on TV for some sort of gadget purported to reduce the size of your waistline. The product was endorsed by a Dr. Feelgood. If you read the fine print you discovered that Dr. Feelgood was a chiropractor, not a medical doctor, but if you had your eyes closed and not carefully reading the screen, you’d never know the difference.

Another infomercial a while back advertised some kind of natural remedy that was supposed to treat erectile dysfunction. Two different “doctors” attested about the effectiveness of THEIR product. Turns out that both of these doctors turned out to have PhD’s in psychology, but you’d never realize that unless you carefully looked at the commercial. Again I have nothing against PhD’s. My sister has a PhD in microbiology and is one of the smartest people I know.

By the way folks, those NATURAL remedies for erectile dysfunction are worthless. They are based on hocus pocus and not scientific fact. Save your money.

Every time I hear something about a DOCTOR Whats-his-name fly by on TV, my radar perks up. Yours should too.


  1. That's exactly why I won't read Dr. Melissa Clouthier's blog -- she's only a chiropractor. And she uses a picture of herself that can't possibly be anything like current. Does the person in the banner at http://melissablogs.com/ really look old enough to be a mother of 3?

    The combination of a misleading title and a misleading photo just doesn't add up to trustworthy to me.

  2. Thank you for this revealing article, Doc. These half-fake medical charlatans on TV have gone too far misleading the public!