When you’re facing health problems, it’s essential that you’re ready to be a medical advocate for yourself so as to ensure that you get the treatment and attention that you deserve. Like any professional field, the medical field is imperfect and mistakes do occur. What’s more, the medical field requires multiple individuals working together and on occasion, communication can break down, resulting in an adverse impact on your health and your medical care. For this reason, it’s essential that you’re ready to be a medical advocate for yourself and for your loved ones. That’s precisely what entrepreneur and CEO “Scott Binsack” will explore in today’s article.
What is a Medical Advocate?
A medical advocate is someone who looks after your best interests (or the best interests of a loved one) while you’re undergoing medical care.
In short, a medical advocate works to ensure that all health issues are properly explored, investigated and addressed. This can include requesting diagnostic testing, verifying that you’re receiving the proper tests, procedures and medications, seeing to it that corners are not cut and working to guard your best interests.
How Do You Act as a Medical Advocate?
Medical advocacy can take many forms depending upon the circumstances and the situation. A medical advocate has many different roles and duties, which may include:
- Getting a second or third opinion when you’ve received a diagnosis;
- Asking questions with your physician so you understand why he/she has made a particular diagnosis;
- Asking questions and researching the condition, illness or injury that has been diagnosed;
- Researching the treatments and therapies available to treat a particular condition, illness or injury (and enquiring with your physician about whether these treatments and therapies are appropriate for you or your loved one);
- Requesting a copy of all medical diagnostic tests, lab work and other documents that relate to your care. It’s also wise to bring these with you when you go to an appointment or during a hospitalization.
- Recording all medications, dosages and understanding what each medication is intended to treat or cure; and
- Ensuring you receive appropriate medications, treatments and testing while hospitalized.
These are just a few of the many ways in which you can serve as your own medical advocate. In cases where you’re seriously ill or unable to serve as an effective advocate for yourself, it’s important that you choose a friend or family member who can serve as an advocate on your behalf.
CEO Scott Binsack on the Importance of Medical Advocacy
As someone who’s been hospitalized on many occasions, I’ve discovered that if you’re not your own medical advocate, then the quality of care may be substandard. This is especially true when dealing with multiple physicians and specialists, as important information isn’t always shared. Ultimately, if you’re unable or unwilling to be your own medical advocate, then you may pay the price in terms of your health.
The importance of being a medical advocate was driven home by my most recent hospitalization for a cardiac issue. Follow me, Scott Binsack, on Facebook for the latest updates on my health and other tips for being your own medical advocate!