5 Steps to Becoming Your Own Health Advocate - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
Now Reading
5 Steps to Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

5 Steps to Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

How to Navigate Health Care After the Diagnosis

It can be overwhelming when diagnosed with an illness. Patients who are proactive and educate themselves on their condition have better overall health outcomes.

Guide is here to help anyone with a diagnosis figure out how to navigate health care. There will be several future stories in the “Becoming Your Own Health Advocate” series. These articles will break down the process. They will also arm readers with information to help along every step of the way.

1. Finding a doctor

When moving to a new location, finding a doctor who meets the necessary health care qualifications can be daunting. However, several people in the community can give excellent referrals to doctors and hospitals in the area that have first-hand knowledge of quality care.

Most people are familiar with their community pharmacist. However, compounding pharmacists are highly specialized in pharmacology. They work closely with area doctors, hospitals and labs and can help with referrals to a doctor or practice.

2. Gather all necessary records

Keep track of any symptoms, pain and treatments will help the doctor properly diagnose the symptoms. Any medical history and lab tests, including any genetic testing, should be given to the doctor.

3.     Bring a patient advocate

Bringing another person who can listen and take notes or is comfortable asking questions can help when feeling overwhelmed.

4.  Choosing the medical approach

Depending on the diagnosis, choosing the proper treatment approach can vary amongst doctors’ certifications. Once a doctor leaves medical school, some stay within their degree, while others continue their education and are certified in specializations.

·       Conventional Medicine

This approach to medicine is where medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and therapists treat diseases and symptoms using mainstream practices like drugs, radiation or surgery. They diagnose and treat the symptoms of the illness.

·       Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is a personalized approach that focuses on optimizing the function of each system in the body. This patient-centered discipline searches for the root causation of the illness and finds treatments to heal the entire body, bringing it back to balance.

  • Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine combines traditional and alternative therapies to treat the body with a holistic approach. These doctors work by balancing the body, mind and spirit to heal the body. This modality also looks for the root causation of the illness. 

See Also

  1. Research after diagnosis

Researching on Google can seem cumbersome without knowing what to look for on proper healthcare websites.

Look at the website’s extension — .edu, .com, and .org. These extensions signify if the site is a for-profit website that may have affiliate links to products or services they are selling. These sites may not be in the patient’s best interest.

  • .edu — these sites are for research and educational resources and are considered credible.
  • .org — these sites are typically non-profit, based on research and considered credible.
  • .com — these sites are commercial for-profit selling a product or service, and not always credible.

Health foundations conducting research and studies on disease are also credible sources to follow.

By Deborah Holmén, M.Ed., NBCT.

Copyright © 2020 by Guide to Greater Tampabay | Powered by TheRipal

Scroll To Top