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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August 2017

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

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
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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August 20 - 27, 2017 Qi Gong Master Key 1 And 2 Teacher Training (Prerequisites apply – please see our website) This week long teacher training course has three objectives:...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
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Sponsor: Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
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August 20 - 27, 2017 Are you between jobs or feeling a bit ho hum about your current career? Are you looking for a powerful new tool to give you that much needed competitive edge? Have you been...

Cost: $2489

Where:
Southern CT
Location TBD
, CT
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Sponsor: Mind Matters Hypnosis Center, LLC
Telephone: 860-693-6448
Contact Name: Lisa Zaccheo
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Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
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Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
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Guided loving kindness meditation every Sunday at HeartSong Spiritual Wellness. No charge to attend. Donations are appreciated to help support this non-profit wellness center. Read more:...

Cost: Free

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Contact Name: Jacki Rose
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

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
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

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
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

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
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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Qigong is an amazing practice used to prevent and heal disease. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises. Qigong movements are gentle and easy to...

Cost: $12

Where:
The Arlington Center
369 Mass Ave
Arlington, MA
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Sponsor: Maryellen LaBelle
Telephone: 781-710-4325
Contact Name: Maryellen LaBelle
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Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

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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MBSR: Tools for Managing Stress and Enhancing Wellbeing Dates: Wednesday Evenings July 12, 19, 25 August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 Retreat: Saturday, August 26, 2017 9:30-4:30 PM Join us for a...

Cost: $300 - $650

Where:
Cambridge Health Alliance
26 Central Street
Somerville, MA  02143
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Sponsor: Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
Telephone: 617-591-6132
Contact Name: Bridget Kiley
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

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
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

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Come unwind at the end of the week with your Anastasia's Health Happenings tribe! Fridays in Amesbury… Kick start your spiritual journey by supporting others on their spiritual...

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Where:
Anastasia’s Health Happenings
110 Haverhill Rd
Bldg. C, Suite 342
Amesbury, MA  01913
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Sponsor: Anastasia’s Health Happenings
Telephone: 978-621-8435
Contact Name: Patti Anastasia
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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