Being a Strong Self Advocate in the Medical System

Advocating For Yourself Assertively as a Patient—Do’s and Don’ts

As a patient with a chronic health condition, you may find yourself spending far too much time in clinics and hospitals. Nobody will hold your hand as you seek proper care; it’s up to you to advocate assertively on your own behalf. The following do’s and don’ts should help you navigate medical endeavors more efficiently:

Do: Gather and Organize All Medical Records

From seeking a second opinion to disputing claim denials, documentation is essential. Collect all lab tests and diagnostic reports, and be prepared to present them when necessary.

Don’t: Rely on the Advice of Just One Medical Expert

Medical professionals are far from infallible. If your gut tells you to seek a second opinion, don’t hesitate to visit another physician or specialist. That extra opinion could save your life.

Do: Ask Specific Questions About Symptoms and Treatment

Be honest about your symptoms and response to treatment. Speak up for yourself, and ask your primary care physician or specialist about all the options available to you, including those that don’t require extensive physical therapy or surgery.

Don’t: Arrive at an Appointment Without an Outline

Make the most of every minute by developing an outline and note page ahead of time. This should include every issue you intend to address with your physician.

Do: Take Advantage of Patient Technology

Online portals and smartphone apps make it easier to access much-needed information. If you suffer limited mobility or struggle to discuss issues with your physician in-person, advocate for yourself online.

Don’t: Rely Exclusively on Patient Technology

Technology can make life as a patient easier, but it shouldn’t replace face-to-face appointments. Don’t rely on an app to get you through severe physical suffering; schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

You can advocate for yourself when seeking treatment, but you don’t have to in the legal sphere; that’s your lawyer’s job. Smith, Wallis and Scott will stand up for your best interests in and out of court.

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