Do I Need an Advocate?

Everyone needs an advocate at some point in their life, even Oprah Winfrey!

Patient advocates provide unbiased recommendations. They are experienced and knowledgeable about the healthcare system, available resources and supports, and working with complex care teams. Having an advocate by your side can greatly relieve the stress and burden on patients as well as family caregivers.

Signs you may need an advocate:

  • You have more than one chronic illness or more than one specialist physician
  • You don’t have a primary care provider
  • You are frequently in the Urgent Care/Emergency Department
  • You don’t have health insurance
  • You do not have copies of your medical records
  • You are taking more than one prescription medicine
  • You just received a new diagnosis and don’t know where to start
  • You are the parent or guardian of a minor with medical conditions
  • Your voice is not being recognized or respected as the expert in your own health
  • You are transitioning off your parents’ health insurance for the first time
  • You have medical conditions and are going away to college or moving away from home for the first time

Signs your child may need an advocate:

  • Your child is diagnosed with a congenital, lifelong, or chronic illness
  • Your child received a new diagnosis and you don’t know where to start
  • Your child cannot describe their medical conditions in developmentally appropriate terms
  • Your child’s medical condition affects their learning
  • Your child’s medical condition is a syndrome or other complex diagnosis
  • You do not have copies of your child’s full medical records
  • Your family is built via adoption, kinship adoption, or foster care
  • Your child’s pediatrician is not owning the position of care team leader
  • Your older child/teenager is resistant to taking prescribed medications or treatments
  • Your older child/teenager is resistant to participating in their healthcare at all
  • Your older child/teenager is ready to start managing some aspects of their care
  • You hope for your child to one day be able to independently manage their healthcare
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