It seems that healthcare advocacy has been the topic in many discussions recently. Naturally, being an advocate, it is always on my mind as well. Quite often when I speak with someone regarding their healthcare, I sense apprehension when we discuss addressing their healthcare needs. The apprehension isn’t always related to a health crisis, it could be something as seemingly minor as scheduling a doctor’s appointment for a routine checkup.
My hope is to empower everyone to take the steps necessary to maintain health. To some extent, we all must be an advocate. TEDMED’s Jay Walker at last month’s World Health Care Congress said, “The big change in the world is that patients are taking control.”
An encouraging story from TED is that of Dave deBronkart, an e-patient advocate who learned he had a rare and terminal cancer and turned to a group of fellow patients online to find the medical treatment that saved his life. I agree with Dave’s statement that, “The most underutilized resource in all of health care is the patient.”
I am certain that I would be hospitalized or would have had to have a hysterectomy had I not advocated for solutions regarding my fibroids. Eleven years ago my hemoglobin was 6(or possibly less). I was seeing stars, and I was barely walking due to my low oxygen level. Finding a skilled reproductive endocrinologist and changing my diet have brought me to where I am today.
When considering your healthcare, I’ll share 3 key objectives to embrace:
1. OWN your own healthcare
-Select skilled physicians
-Schedule routine exams on time
-Encourage friends and loved ones to take charge of their healthcare
2. CONNECT to fellow patients.
-Ask your physician if there are patients that you can connect with
-Utilize e-patient websites to find support and solutions
3. ASK your physician to “PARTNER” with you to find solutions
-There should be an open dialogue between you and your physician
-Ask if all options have been communicated
-Inquire about holistic options and preventive medicine
There is tremendous power in Physician-Patient partnerships. I’m encouraged by the expanding dialogue on healthcare. I will continue to do all that I can to provide information to heal uterine fibroids.
“If you open up the mind, the opportunity to address both profits and social conditions are limitless. It’s a process of innovation.”