How do I deal with friends calling for a diagnosis?


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“I am the only medical professional in both my and my husband’s family so I do field a number of calls and requests. Most are for very basic advice and generally anyone who asks is very respectful of my time. They’re careful not to call me chronically!

“I’m careful to point out that since I’m unable to examine the patient myself, the advice must be taken with a grain of salt.

“The funniest requests are always things like rashes three states away – as you can imagine it is a bit difficult to diagnose a rash without being able to see it. I once even had a friend e-mail me a picture of a scalp wound to see if I thought it needed stitches!”

Do people you love ask for diagnoses? Do you have different advice for us?

LeAnn Stofferahn
LeAnn Stofferahn, NP-C, MSN, is a nurse at University of Nebraska Lincoln Health Center.

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