As a medical device specialist in the operating room, I worked with more surgeons from a broader array of specialties than any physician I know. I've learned many things, primarily that everyone will need help guiding their healthcare at some point.
Everybody finds learning about their health condition and treatment options challenging. But with some insight and direction, we can identify better caregivers and make better decisions. Each step can reduce stress and make difficult situations easier.
I don't have all the answers, but I usually know who to call. I continually expand and refine my network of Board-Certified Patient Advocates. We have complementary and overlapping skills to assist client needs across various specialties and geographic ranges.
- I offer a FREE Initial Consultation
- I offer TeleAdvocacy Service
- I am insured
- My geographical area of practice is Northern California & anywhere, virtually.
My sister agreed to brain surgery while terminally ill, which made her final months more miserable. My mother chose an unqualified surgeon for her second knee replacement. Looking back, this was the first sign of her cognitive decline; she would have otherwise chosen her previous, excellent surgeon who replaced her other knee. If only I knew then what I know now. I will never let that happen to a loved one, friend, or client.
My biggest takeaway during my first case as a spine consultant was, "Why did this patient choose this surgeon?". The doctor's specialty was not the spine. He was dependent on me to walk him through the surgical steps. He thanked me for my expertise, and I had zero experience! That moment was a catalyst for my becoming a patient advocate. I realized that intelligent people, comfortable researching items that are important to them, quickly grow frustrated when trying to analyze the skill, experience, and patient outcomes of potential care providers.
When evaluating a refrigerator, car, or new neighborhood, reliable data on user-friendliness and reliability of consumer items, comps on home prices, and ratings of area schools are readily available. But when we search for the best surgeons, reliable, actionable data is elusive. Search results consist of advertising and publicity hype. Beyond social media reviews, which are highly suspect, you'll find no negative information about a surgeon online.
This lack of data can lead to poor decisions when choosing caregivers. We may ask someone about the surgeon they chose. They might say a variation on what I've heard many times: "My surgeon was terrible! I stopped going to physical therapy. It was a total bust!" Hearing that, we can easily miss that our friend failed to do the physical therapy prescribed for proper recovery. As a result, we may write off the best surgeon in 5 counties and never know it. Or, like the patient in my first solo case as a spine consultant, we might walk into a hip and knee surgeon's clinic and authorize them to fuse our neck, never knowing that they decided to start "dabbling" in spine surgery. Or, we may go to the cardiovascular surgeon who we are thankful for saving our lives and ask them for a knee surgeon referral. We'll get a referral, but it will be that surgeon's friend or someone in their medical group. What's wrong with that? No surgeon has the time or ability to keep up with the surgical outcomes of other doctors, let alone those in different specialties.
What I've seen professionally and personally as a brother, son, husband, father, and friend compelled me to become an independent patient advocate. Find out if we're a good fit and if patient advocacy is suitable for you at www.ChooseBetter.Care