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The Tragedies That Keep Me Up at Night
The collision of my two professional worlds is keeping me up at night. It provides s a cautionary tale for private, independent patient advocates. Not all readers of this blog know that I have my feet planted in two parts of this patient-assistance world. My first foray into healthcare started in 2004 with a horrific misdiagnosis which resulted in a change of careers (from being a marketing consultant) to becoming an expert in patient empowerment. By 2005 I had started writing on patient empowerment topics. Then in 2006, I began doing a great deal of public speaking across the US – and by the end of that year, I had sold my marketing company to focus on patient empowerment full time. I branded myself “Every Patient’s Advocate.” In 2007 I started the Patient Empowerment site for About.com, wrote my first book for patients in 2010 – etc – but the important point here is that I have a whole “life” in patient empowerment. My emphasis on working with private, independent patient advocates started in 2007 after conversations with hundreds of patients who just felt that empowering themselves was more than they could handle when they were sick. That’s when I first conceived of the idea of helping to build the profession of private advocacy, which really began to take off in 2009 when we launched AdvoConnection, both the directory and the original membership organization (before it became the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates.) In many ways, my two professional lives are two sides of the same coin. They crossover constantly, and support each other quite nicely. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which, because I often publish articles for patients about private, independent advocacy – and I often sprinkle the advice I provide to advocates with bits of patient empowerment. That last piece – the connection between my work with patients and my work with advocates – THAT is what has been keeping me awake the past couple of nights. Here’s why: Several days ago I wrote an article at About.com entitled Tragic Reminders of the Uselessness of Doctor…