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7 Ways You Can Be Your Own Medical Advocate

When you talk to people that have been living with a chronic condition and ask them what their one piece of advice is, the overwhelming majority respond with, “be your own advocate”. 

What does that even mean though? Why is that important?

Well to advocate for yourself, specifically in a medical setting, means that you stand up for yourself and your needs – even if that is against what the doctor is saying. Now this does not mean what your doctor is saying is incorrect, after all they went to medical school and do this everyday, BUT they do not live in your body and they do not know what feeling normal is for you, so it’s up to you to let stop them and continue to make it clear your needs and concerns. 

Part of advocating for yourself is knowing that you can and should be able to partner with your doctors and learn how to participate in your own care, rather than think of yourself as passively receiving care. Accidents can happen to anyone, and not being in charge of your care leaves the power in their hands, which are usually also full of other patients and their conditions too. It can be easy for things to slip through the cracks, especially when you need so much from them and their team.

For many people, the belief about doctors is that they are pretty much all-knowing when it comes to medicine. You don’t question them. This belief isn’t uncommon, but unfortunately, it leaves patients unprepared for when doctor’s do make mistakes or don’t understand their needs. Patients don’t really know what to do and rather than bring it up to the doctor, tend to just accept it and walk away. When this happens though, there can be mistakes and misdiagnoses and you can end up with more serious problems than when you started.

It doesn’t have to be like that though. If you can learn how to be your own health advocate and be in charge of your own body and care, then you’re much more likely to get the care and treatment you deserve and desire. This can feel overwhelming though and is not something we have ever been taught. In light of that, here are some tips to help you start to become your own medical advocate and take control of your care!

1 – Understand How Your Health Insurance Works 

Knowing how your insurance works helps you navigate the health care system with less chance of ending up with costly, unexpected medical bills. Knowing how your insurance works helps you navigate the health care system with less chance of ending up with costly, unexpected medical bills.

2 – Do Your Own Research

Research! Research! Research! everything! Doctors, diseases, testing, treatments, medications, symptoms etc. This is the BEST tool for advocating for yourself. When you know what you are talking about, you can better know what you want and communicate that effectively. By doing so, you own your health and help direct your care. This will allow you to get better care, the results you want all while feeling more in control of something that can often times feel uncontrollable.

3 – Maintain Your Own Records

By keeping tabs on your own documents, you won’t have to worry as much about them getting lost in the shuffle, and you can see exactly what your doctors are seeing.

4 – Don’t Be Afraid To Say No And Ask Questions

Remember you are working WITH your doctor. You are a team and they are supposed to work with you not just tell you how it is going to go.

5 – Call & Keep Tabs

It is so easy for referrals, prescriptions, messages etc. to get “lost” or not sent etc. in the medical world. Between doctors offices and insurance I would say I spend about half of my day everyday on the phone trying to sort through these messes. By calling and finding out the information myself, I am empowered and feel much more in control than I would waiting for a response that was never going to come. Also by knowing the information myself, I can better advocate and argue my case when it is challenged.

6 – Be The CEO Of Your Care Team

Assemble a care team that wants to work with you and foster your empowerment. Don’t be afraid to make changes if you don’t feel supported by your health care providers, it’s meant to be a two-way relationship. Hire people who support you and help you and fire the ones who do not. It’s your health and you get to pick who is in charge, so let it be you.

7 – Stand Up For Yourself

This is one of the hardest steps to take, but also one of the most important. At the core of everything, you’re the only one who knows what it’s like to live in your body. That means you’re the only one who can decide what you can or want to handle, and what you can’t or won’t. You know what you want and standing up for yourself is the way to get it. There are polite ways to do this that allow you to continue to move forward with the doctors that welcome your input and if they don’t then that is a sign to leave them and get a new one.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with the medication the doctor chooses, the side effects, the diagnoses (or lack there of), the treatments etc. Not the doctor, you.

Doctor’s and other medical professionals help so many people, but unfortunately you are just one of the many they help and sometimes, because of that, you may not get the care you need.

Learning to advocate for yourself is a big step that will ultimately help you exponentially in your chronic condition journey and in life. We hope these tips help you get started!

WELCOME TO

The Chronic Collective

We are an awareness-based clothing brand on a mission to support those with chronic conditions through our clothing, community and actions as a company. Founded by someone with a chronic condition for those with chronic conditions – we hope that what we do, create & offer here provides you with love & support on your journey!

Want To Get Access To Our Free 200+ Chronic Condition Resource Guide?!

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7 Ways You Can Support Your Friend With A Chronic Condition

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7 Ways You Can Be Your Own Medical Advocate

When you talk to people that have been living with a chronic condition and ask them what their one piece of advice is, the overwhelming majority respond with, “be your own advocate”. 

What does that even mean though? Why is that important?

Well to advocate for yourself, specifically in a medical setting, means that you stand up for yourself and your needs – even if that is against what the doctor is saying. Now this does not mean what your doctor is saying is incorrect, after all they went to medical school and do this everyday, BUT they do not live in your body and they do not know what feeling normal is for you, so it’s up to you to let stop them and continue to make it clear your needs and concerns. 

Part of advocating for yourself is knowing that you can and should be able to partner with your doctors and learn how to participate in your own care, rather than think of yourself as passively receiving care. Accidents can happen to anyone, and not being in charge of your care leaves the power in their hands, which are usually also full of other patients and their conditions too. It can be easy for things to slip through the cracks, especially when you need so much from them and their team.

For many people, the belief about doctors is that they are pretty much all-knowing when it comes to medicine. You don’t question them. This belief isn’t uncommon, but unfortunately, it leaves patients unprepared for when doctor’s do make mistakes or don’t understand their needs. Patients don’t really know what to do and rather than bring it up to the doctor, tend to just accept it and walk away. When this happens though, there can be mistakes and misdiagnoses and you can end up with more serious problems than when you started.

It doesn’t have to be like that though. If you can learn how to be your own health advocate and be in charge of your own body and care, then you’re much more likely to get the care and treatment you deserve and desire. This can feel overwhelming though and is not something we have ever been taught. In light of that, here are some tips to help you start to become your own medical advocate and take control of your care!

1 – Understand How Your Health Insurance Works 

Knowing how your insurance works helps you navigate the health care system with less chance of ending up with costly, unexpected medical bills. Knowing how your insurance works helps you navigate the health care system with less chance of ending up with costly, unexpected medical bills.

2 – Do Your Own Research

Research! Research! Research! everything! Doctors, diseases, testing, treatments, medications, symptoms etc. This is the BEST tool for advocating for yourself. When you know what you are talking about, you can better know what you want and communicate that effectively. By doing so, you own your health and help direct your care. This will allow you to get better care, the results you want all while feeling more in control of something that can often times feel uncontrollable.

3 – Maintain Your Own Records

By keeping tabs on your own documents, you won’t have to worry as much about them getting lost in the shuffle, and you can see exactly what your doctors are seeing.

4 – Don’t Be Afraid To Say No And Ask Questions

Remember you are working WITH your doctor. You are a team and they are supposed to work with you not just tell you how it is going to go.

5 – Call & Keep Tabs

It is so easy for referrals, prescriptions, messages etc. to get “lost” or not sent etc. in the medical world. Between doctors offices and insurance I would say I spend about half of my day everyday on the phone trying to sort through these messes. By calling and finding out the information myself, I am empowered and feel much more in control than I would waiting for a response that was never going to come. Also by knowing the information myself, I can better advocate and argue my case when it is challenged.

6 – Be The CEO Of Your Care Team

Assemble a care team that wants to work with you and foster your empowerment. Don’t be afraid to make changes if you don’t feel supported by your health care providers, it’s meant to be a two-way relationship. Hire people who support you and help you and fire the ones who do not. It’s your health and you get to pick who is in charge, so let it be you.

7 – Stand Up For Yourself

This is one of the hardest steps to take, but also one of the most important. At the core of everything, you’re the only one who knows what it’s like to live in your body. That means you’re the only one who can decide what you can or want to handle, and what you can’t or won’t. You know what you want and standing up for yourself is the way to get it. There are polite ways to do this that allow you to continue to move forward with the doctors that welcome your input and if they don’t then that is a sign to leave them and get a new one.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with the medication the doctor chooses, the side effects, the diagnoses (or lack there of), the treatments etc. Not the doctor, you.

Doctor’s and other medical professionals help so many people, but unfortunately you are just one of the many they help and sometimes, because of that, you may not get the care you need.

Learning to advocate for yourself is a big step that will ultimately help you exponentially in your chronic condition journey and in life. We hope these tips help you get started!

WELCOME TO

The Chronic Collective

We are an awareness-based clothing brand on a mission to support those with chronic conditions through our clothing, community and actions as a company. Founded by someone with a chronic condition for those with chronic conditions – we hope that what we do, create & offer here provides you with love & support on your journey!

Want 10% Off?!

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase, special deals, notified of new designs and ways you can get involved in our community! 

Popular Posts

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Things To Do Before Your Doctor Appointment

7 Ways You Can Support Your Friend With A Chronic Condition

Shop

Get Our Giftcard!

Share Your Story

Join The Support Group & Attend Monthly Events

Podcast Collab

Be An Ambassador

7 Ways You Can Be Your Own Medical Advocate

When you talk to people that have been living with a chronic condition and ask them what their one piece of advice is, the overwhelming majority respond with, “be your own advocate”. 

What does that even mean though? Why is that important?

Well to advocate for yourself, specifically in a medical setting, means that you stand up for yourself and your needs – even if that is against what the doctor is saying. Now this does not mean what your doctor is saying is incorrect, after all they went to medical school and do this everyday, BUT they do not live in your body and they do not know what feeling normal is for you, so it’s up to you to let stop them and continue to make it clear your needs and concerns. 

Part of advocating for yourself is knowing that you can and should be able to partner with your doctors and learn how to participate in your own care, rather than think of yourself as passively receiving care. Accidents can happen to anyone, and not being in charge of your care leaves the power in their hands, which are usually also full of other patients and their conditions too. It can be easy for things to slip through the cracks, especially when you need so much from them and their team.

For many people, the belief about doctors is that they are pretty much all-knowing when it comes to medicine. You don’t question them. This belief isn’t uncommon, but unfortunately, it leaves patients unprepared for when doctor’s do make mistakes or don’t understand their needs. Patients don’t really know what to do and rather than bring it up to the doctor, tend to just accept it and walk away. When this happens though, there can be mistakes and misdiagnoses and you can end up with more serious problems than when you started.

It doesn’t have to be like that though. If you can learn how to be your own health advocate and be in charge of your own body and care, then you’re much more likely to get the care and treatment you deserve and desire. This can feel overwhelming though and is not something we have ever been taught. In light of that, here are some tips to help you start to become your own medical advocate and take control of your care!

1 – Understand How Your Health Insurance Works 

Knowing how your insurance works helps you navigate the health care system with less chance of ending up with costly, unexpected medical bills. Knowing how your insurance works helps you navigate the health care system with less chance of ending up with costly, unexpected medical bills.

2 – Do Your Own Research

Research! Research! Research! everything! Doctors, diseases, testing, treatments, medications, symptoms etc. This is the BEST tool for advocating for yourself. When you know what you are talking about, you can better know what you want and communicate that effectively. By doing so, you own your health and help direct your care. This will allow you to get better care, the results you want all while feeling more in control of something that can often times feel uncontrollable.

3 – Maintain Your Own Records

By keeping tabs on your own documents, you won’t have to worry as much about them getting lost in the shuffle, and you can see exactly what your doctors are seeing.

4 – Don’t Be Afraid To Say No And Ask Questions

Remember you are working WITH your doctor. You are a team and they are supposed to work with you not just tell you how it is going to go.

5 – Call & Keep Tabs

It is so easy for referrals, prescriptions, messages etc. to get “lost” or not sent etc. in the medical world. Between doctors offices and insurance I would say I spend about half of my day everyday on the phone trying to sort through these messes. By calling and finding out the information myself, I am empowered and feel much more in control than I would waiting for a response that was never going to come. Also by knowing the information myself, I can better advocate and argue my case when it is challenged.

6 – Be The CEO Of Your Care Team

Assemble a care team that wants to work with you and foster your empowerment. Don’t be afraid to make changes if you don’t feel supported by your health care providers, it’s meant to be a two-way relationship. Hire people who support you and help you and fire the ones who do not. It’s your health and you get to pick who is in charge, so let it be you.

7 – Stand Up For Yourself

This is one of the hardest steps to take, but also one of the most important. At the core of everything, you’re the only one who knows what it’s like to live in your body. That means you’re the only one who can decide what you can or want to handle, and what you can’t or won’t. You know what you want and standing up for yourself is the way to get it. There are polite ways to do this that allow you to continue to move forward with the doctors that welcome your input and if they don’t then that is a sign to leave them and get a new one.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with the medication the doctor chooses, the side effects, the diagnoses (or lack there of), the treatments etc. Not the doctor, you.

Doctor’s and other medical professionals help so many people, but unfortunately you are just one of the many they help and sometimes, because of that, you may not get the care you need.

Learning to advocate for yourself is a big step that will ultimately help you exponentially in your chronic condition journey and in life. We hope these tips help you get started!

WELCOME TO

The Chronic Collective

We are an awareness-based clothing brand on a mission to support those with chronic conditions through our clothing, community and actions as a company. Founded by someone with a chronic condition for those with chronic conditions – we hope that what we do, create & offer here provides you with love & support on your journey!

Want 10% Off?!

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase, special deals, notified of new designs and ways you can get involved in our community! 

Popular Posts

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Things To Do Before Your Doctor Appointment

7 Ways You Can Support Your Friend With A Chronic Condition

Shop

Get Our Giftcard!

Share Your Story

Join The Support Group & Attend Monthly Events

Podcast Collab

Be An Ambassador

Similar Posts

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    Want our 200+ Chronic Condition Resource Guide For Free?

    Sign up for immediate access to our resource guide with 200+ links to a variety of resources AND also access to our newsletter where you will get exclusive sales, discounts, and the the latest on The Chronic Collective’s clothing and community!