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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May 26, 2019

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May 2019

Sunday afternoon: 3–4:30pm at Hillside Herbals Healing herbs for women's health part I: tonic herbs for hormonal balance—normal cycling and aging. Rachel has created a 10...

Cost: Drop in Fee $10 includes all materials and handouts.

Where:
Hillside Herbals
Jefferson, MA


Sponsor: Hillside Herbals
Telephone: 508-847-8615
Contact Name: Rachel Ross
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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 $25-45

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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This is a light fun evening to help get you going into the summer season. This evening we will be discussing and working with Geraniums and Pelargoniums. We will be discussing the plants, their...

Cost: $ 20 includes material, pre-reg required

Where:
Brookside Farms
8 Mammoth Rd
Sute #A
Pelham, NH  03076
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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Instructor: Pam Driscoll Wednesdays, April 17, May 8, 22, June 5, 19, 6:30pm–7:30pm Join us for the Mid-Week Meditation Sampler at Creative Spirit…an opportunity to pause,...

Cost: $20 per class

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 781-797-0389
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Be An “Eat to Thrive” Graduate This Summer. Come to an introductory class for the summer session from June 6–August 15 in Point of Pines, Revere, MA. Congratulations to the...

Cost: Free—all are welcome!

Where:
Point of Pines
Revere, MA


Sponsor: Eat to Thrive
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Activists and artists will create inspiring chalk imagery encouraging kindness to animals On May 31, people around the world will gather to create colorful chalk imagery promoting compassion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Worcester City Common
Worcester, MA  01604


Telephone: 617-5430189
Contact Name: Melissa Scher
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Cost: $50

Where:
Voice of Clay
16 Meetinghouse Hill Rd
Brookline , NH  03033
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Sponsor: Voice of Clay
Telephone: 603-672-2626
Contact Name: Wendy
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You do not need any musical background but please be sure to register early! Class is limited to 16 students. 6-hole flutes in G are provided for use during class. You are welcome to bring...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Learn an intro to the magick and science of dowsing. Tools, techniques for information, clearing, balancing, healing, and more. Bob will introduce you to dowsing and basic radiesthesia,...

Cost: Class is $45

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Suite #A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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In celebration of ushering in the Strawberry Moon Cycle and we will be doing a new moon planting. This is a great opportunity to literally sow the seeds for some of our other upcoming workshops...

Cost: Pre-reg $35, $40 at the door, materials included

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Sute #A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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June 1–2 Join other like-minded seekers as we take a journey through the concepts of the new Earth paradigm, higher self and soul sovereignty, ascension mechanics, and spiritual alchemy.

Where:
Chester, VT


Telephone: (617) 366-6042
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Using Lessons from Music to Harmonize Your Life You know how you want to show up in the world—expressing yourself through your essence, centered in your heart, effective in your life and...

Cost: $90 prepaid by May 30th, $100 at the door

Where:
Center at Westwoods
590 Gay Street
Westwoods, MA
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Telephone: 617-784-4426
Contact Name: Janet Kessenich
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May 4–June 8, 2019 Saturdays 10am–11:30am Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is a healing martial art using breath and movement. It is just one way to stay young and healthy. It...

Cost: $120

Where:
Metta Wellness
679 Pleasant Street
Paxton, MA  01612
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Sponsor: Metta Wellness
Telephone: 774-245-5487
Contact Name: Rick Rocha
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