advocacy ethics

What Aretha Franklin Can Teach Us About Communication

r-e-s-p-e-c-t

This post asks the question: Under what circumstances do we go to the wall for our patient-clients? And when we need to go there, what’s the best approach? Scenario: Your patient-client checks in for a medical appointment and the receptionist is rude during the process. Do you say or do anything? And if so – how and what?  Scenario: As you sit by your patient’s hospital bedside, a nurse comes in to change a dressing already wearing gloves. You ask her to wash her hands and put on new gloves and she cops an attitude. Do you insist? And if …

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All That – But Missing Your Bag of Chips?

Over the years, I’ve met, discussed, emailed, pleaded, and thrown my hands up at (probably) hundreds of advocates who have never truly become professional, independent, practicing advocates. They might have told you they were/are advocates. They SAID they were in business. But their efforts were half-hearted. They didn’t ever ACTIVELY go into business. Instead they joined an organization, or set up a website, or printed business cards, or told their friends they were in business… they might even have listed themselves in a directory or two… But it was all very half-hearted. Why? Because of that idea that they weren’t …

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Science, Darwin, and Advocacy Ethics

“Back in the day” there was a piece of advice that admonished us to remember that if you went on a first date, or when you invited the boss to dinner, or while you were at work, or during similar scenarios where you needed to be aware of the sensitivities of the company you kept, you should make sure you avoided conversations about religion and politics. The reason to avoid those conversations with folks was clear: you always wanted to be sure you didn’t offend someone else at the beginning of a friendship or relationship or ongoing with people you …

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When It’s Time to Use IDK

time out

No one can ever be expected to know everything about everything at the moment they need to know it. Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about medical providers – and too many health advocates, too – it is that there is a major reluctance to say “I don’t know.” It’s as if the fact that they don’t know something reflects on their ability to be useful. As if they are “less” because the answer isn’t right there in the front of their brains and rolling off their tongues. I just don’t think that’s right, or fair, or kosher. Whether …

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Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

wof in sheeps clothing

This post was originally published in July 2013, and was updated in July 2020. Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same. It’s too easy to be fooled. Story #1: … is based on a scathing article from the Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products. The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part …

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“I’ve done advocacy for friends and loved ones all my life. Now I just want to get paid for it!”

ask for money

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone told me “I want to join the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates because I’m good at advocacy, I’ve done it for years for friends and family, and now I just want figure out how to get paid for it.” Honestly> Sometimes those words make me want to scream, because I know they will never make that leap. The problem is, no matter how simple the answer, no matter how many opportunities they have – the majority of people who can make that statement will never be paid for independent advocacy …

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Bogus Claims Will Come Back to Bite You

(This post is being published in May 2020 – in the midst of the pandemic – when many advocates are working from home, and hopefully taking time to update and improve their business practices. I hope the message here rings true for those of you – the few of you – who need it, and that necessary changes will be made accordingly.) ….. True confessions here! I met my husband on Match.com. We met and married in 2006. Today we continue to live our happily ever after. Prior to meeting him, I dated a handful of other (so-called) gentlemen I …

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