Why do you need a patient advocate?

17 Aug 2017

Why do you need a patient advocate? Lately, I have come across a number of real life stories that help answer that question.

I know a woman in her late 20’s.  She “knew” that she had fibromyalgia, but she couldn’t get her doctors to take her seriously.  She was “too young” to be sick.  I worked with her and attended doctor’s appointments with her.  She was finally diagnosed formally.

I heard about a young man who was in college.  He got horribly ill.  His mother kept taking him to the emergency room where they kept telling her he was a drug addict and not sick.  She kept insisting he was ill.  He was finally diagnosed with spinal meningitis.

I know a 60 year old man who went to the emergency room in extreme pain all over his body.  Thankfully, his wife was with him to answer the doctor’s questions.

I know a 50ish man who suffered from extreme white coat syndrome.  Just walking in to a doctor’s office caused his blood pressure to spike.  With me at his side, he now has good doctor’s appointments with normal blood pressure.

My last example is me.  I recently was very ill.  I went to the emergency room.  I had extreme pain in my lower chest.  The PA on duty told me I had bronchitis, an upper respiratory issue.  I knew I had been misdiagnosed, but I was too sick to fight.  I was back in the emergency room three days later and finally got a correct diagnosis.

Patient advocates are here to help.  Doctors and nurses are great, but they’re not perfect.  Another set of ears and a mouth can be very beneficial.  Don’t hesitate to call!


Lora McCann