Friday, January 27, 2012

Physicians Have a Natural Role as Advocates

This is an article I wrote that was published on Kevin Pho's blog: 

As physicians, we are often called upon to be advocates for our patients.  Sometimes they have no other person to turn to.  At those times, in particular, we evaluate their health in the context of relationship, family, and workplace.  Having practiced family medicine for so many years, and now in counseling medicine, I have had the responsibility of advocating for my patients with their health insurance companies, within their families, and with their employers.  I take this responsibility very seriously.   more



  1. I'm not a doctor, but read the link at the bottom of Kevin MD's post of your article. Just wanted to say thank you for your years in practicing family medicine.

    I'm not a nurse, but suddenly found myself expected to self-inject a painful solution each night to potentially delay progression of MS. I had little hands on training ... three practice shots ... far less than any nursing student would deem sufficient. After four and a half years of these injections, my depression and anxiety and fatigue were worse than ever, and I had to leave my classroom after thirty years of teaching. I wanted to work another decade. But I was not the person I had been before beginning treatments I resented and feared.

    Family physicians have little to say once the specialists (neurologist, in my case) step into a patient's life. It's a shame.

    I wrote a book about my experience; it is at Amazon, titled Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma. For that is what I was ... an enigma ... a patient with innumerable lesions and yet no symptoms, prescribed a medication with little promise and great expectations.

    Just wanted to say thanks, and to tell my story to someone I think would listen well, and perhaps intercede, and as you say, advocate, for your patient.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. I read the Amazon page on your book and your bio - the people who reviewed your book really noticed some of the heroic inner qualities that have helped you to keep progressing on your journey. The pain of the injections you mentioned is so much more than the pain of the solution that was injected. You have my best wishes for you and your family.

  3. Physicians have to make the right decision. It depends on the individual's condition.

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  4. This is very inspirational. As a chiropractor in SUBURB, I am very much dedicated to serving the people instead of making money and improving my career. With limited resources and facilities, it is really important that you give your all to give the best service to your patients.