Patient Advocate Lessons


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Today most Americans rely on healthcare professionals to manage their health and well-being. We listen to the experts about our physical concerns and follow the treatment plan laid out to us with strict guidance. We do it without asking many questions or getting a second opinion. Most of us follow the medical advice in an attempt to eliminate symptoms or disease, to feel better, and so that we can get back to our daily lives quickly.

While it is necessary to follow the protocol advised by your doctor, it is also important to become your own advocate in terms of your health. Our healthcare system now employs patient advocates as part of a multi-disciplinary team that specialize in supporting patients with issues ranging from consent, privacy and confidentiality, and patient rights.

But did you know that you can be your own advocate? Not many people understand that you can become your own advocate and contribute to your own healthcare decisions that make you an active member of any medical team working on your behalf. You can do this whether you are visiting the doctor for a well check-up, sick visit, surgical procedure, post-operative care, or being followed for a chronic disease.

Tips To Become Your Own Self-Advocate

  • We are all uniquely different and a treatment plan that works for one person may not work for another. This does not mean you or your doctor have failed, it means that another approach must be taken to activate your body’s own ability to heal itself. The doctor is the medical expert but you are an expert on you and your body.
  • Become an active and engaged participant in your treatment plan. Do not be a passive by- stander. This is your life! You are paying the doctor to work for you. If it doesn’t feel right, seek out a different doctor or get a second opinion.
  • Get a copy of your medical and/or prescription issue. Review your history! Keep a medical journal if desired.
  • Communication is crucial. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or to tell your doctor, “I don’t understand.” Your doctor must take the time to answer any and all questions that you have regarding your concerns.
  • Be prepared and come to your appointment with a list of questions. It is easy to forgot them during the appointment.
  • Understand how your insurance plan works. The insurance industry is a complex system within the medical umbrella that can leave patients frustrated and exhausted. Know what services are covered and plan accordingly with you doctor.
  • Know your doctor’s medical background. Where and what did they study? Observe their manners and behaviors. Do they listen to your concerns, show respect for this partnership, communicate effectively, and have a commitment to your well-being?
  • The doctor-patient relationship is changing today. This relationship is essential and must be utilized effectively for delivering high-quality healthcare to you. It is important to forge an improved dialogue, become an active participant, and ask questions so that you can become knowledgeable and empowered in regard to your health and wellness.

Elizabeth DeRosa is a holistic health and nutrition coach and author of Finding the Way: Learn the Facts and Transform Your Child’s Health For a Lifetime.

See also:
The Most Important Thing You’re Not Discussing With Your Doctor
Power Up: Be In Charge Of Your Life And Health

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June 25, 2017

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June 2017

A one-day class facilitated by Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher), Lou Orsan Reiki Level I is an introduction to the basic principles of traditional Usui Reiki. The skills learned are designed to...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
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Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
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Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
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Cost: $35 per session

Where:
Keene Unitarian Universalist Church
69 Washington Street
(and corner of Taylor Street)
Keene, NH
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Sponsor: Cycles of Spirit Spiritualist Church & One Spirit Shamanic Arts
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The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
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Telephone: 617-304-2205
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Arlington Masonic Temple
19 Academy Street
Arlington, MA
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Sponsor: Greater Boston Church of Spiritualism
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HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
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Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Cost: Drop in $20 or purchase series card

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The Yoga Depot
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Lexington, MA  02420
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Cost: $18 - $50

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
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Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
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Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
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Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Cost: $10

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