Three Steps to Being An Effective Healthcare Advocate

The good physician treats the disease, the great physician treats the patient who has the disease. William Oster, Canadian physician

At one time or another, we all assume the role of healthcare advocate. Whether we are advocating for ourselves, a parent, or a child, we need to get the attention of and be respected by our physicians. Here are a three tips to help you accomplish this.

  1. Be prepared. Make a list of questions, symptoms, or other pertinent information prior to your appointment with the doctor. Keep it short and to the point.
  2. Ask for a second opinion if necessary. Abby Norman, author of Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain, writes, “Listen to your body and, if you insist that others listen too, eventually you’ll find someone who will.”
  3. Seek out the hospital’s patient advocacy system. An advocate will help you navigate not only the institution’s system, they will work with your medical team to make sure your requests are honored. 

Affirmation: I can be an effective health advocate.

Coaching questions: Do you feel that your doctor listens to you and respects what you say? If not, find a new doctor before you have a health emergency. If you have aging parents, how are you preparing to be their advocate in the future? 

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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