Patient advocates are weird. Why? We read medical books for fun. We’re no bothered by doctor’s offices. (Well, maybe when we’re the patient. Lol) We hold Siddhartha Mukherjee and Atul Gawande in high esteem. (And you’re saying ‘Who?’) We understand health insurance. We know the difference between out of pocket and deductible. (Yes, there’s a difference.) We don’t have white coat syndrome. We’re not afraid to speak with doctors. We know the difference between all of the ‘ologists. CBC, CMP, ALT and AST make sense to us.
Why does all of this matter? When someone is dealing with healthcare, they may be bewildered and confused. Healthcare is tough. The patient needs to focus on getting well or controlling their condition. All of the other things involved cut into the energy the patient has. Patient advocates can take care of these things. Additionally, sometimes it’s a family member dealing with the health problem. When it’s mom or dad who are sick, it’s tough on the adult children. They want to go to appointments but they also need to work. How can they manage both? By hiring a patient advocate, they can do both. The advocate can attend doctors’ appointments and report on what was said. The son or daughter can continue working secure in the knowledge that someone is looking out for mom or dad.
And FYI, Siddhartha Mukherjee is a Pulitzer Prize winning author of Cancer, Emperor of All Maladies. He also wrote The Gene. Atul Gawande is a medical doctor, Harvard professor and author of a number of books including New York Times’ best seller, Being Mortal.