Being your own best advocate!

As the president and CEO of you, shouldn’t you be the president and CEO of your health too? No one knows your body better than you, in fact you are an expert on you. So why is it so hard to advocate for your health in the doctor’s office? Maybe you aren’t thinking like a CEO.

 

Here are some tips on being a better advocate for your health.

 

  1. How does a CEO deal with issues in their company? They gather the appropriate experts, and have a meeting.

    1. Think of any appointment with a provider like a staff meeting. Prepare yourself ahead of time, and be open to suggestions on how to make a better you. The questions and insights you bring to the meeting are crucial, as the expert on you. Your providers are the experts on medicine, and they can’t give you their best advice without your input.

 

See more about this in a great article in Better Humans by Ragen Chastain. (https://betterhumans.pub/the-complete-guide-to-becoming-your-own-medical-advocate-ddc658a10a57).

 

  1. A CEO does their homework and prepares before a meeting, and you should too. Here are some suggestions per WebMD.

 

 

  1. Firstly, you want to be open and honest with your providers about your symptoms. Look into them and educate yourself about possible conditions and what treatment options are available. Then be ready to talk about what you have found with your provider.

  2. Make a list of questions as you do your research.

  3. If you don’t know, ask. What are the treatment options per your provider, how does that compare to what you found in your own research.

  4. Be specific; ask about side effects, costs and success rates of treatment options.

  5. If something is still unclear to you ask again. Is there a term you are unfamiliar with, medical jargon that is new? Often health care providers forget their common jargon isn’t that common or familiar to everyone else. Ask them to define terms you don’t know. Nurses and doctors are also educators. Part of their training is education. So ask, you might find they love to teach.

  1. Hire a support staff, or get an intern. The CEO can’t focus on the meeting at hand and take all the meeting notes, right?

    1. It isn’t uncommon (even for a CEO) to get nervous and overwhelmed during a big meeting, or in your case a doctor’s appointment. Why not bring another set of ears and eyes? It can be a lot of information to absorb; two brains are always better than one.  

    2. Review you notes before you close the meeting. Take a minute before your provider steps out, and make sure you got all your questions answered. A good provider should have no problem with this, and often will ask you for any last questions before they go. Having a list of questions or topics written down is especially helpful with this

    3. Be kind to yourself. If took your provider years of education to understand what you might be trying to understand in 15 minutes.

 

Your health and wellness is serious business. It’s great when you can rely on staff that works well together. Sometimes you have providers that need redirection, and as CEO it is your job to give that feedback. If your medical expert isn’t a good fit, hire another one if you can. You have to be ready to make the hard decisions for the betterment of your company, you. The most important company you will ever be a part of.