How many of us would love to travel to a foreign land and wander around a city?It can be fun and exciting. You might walk down the various different streets just because they look interesting. You might come upon a plaza or a pretty square and you can enjoy where you are in the moment. Maybe, at some point, you take a wrong turn and wind up at a dead end. You turn around and start heading back to your hotel, but where was your hotel? You turn right, you turn left. You continue to walk. These streets don't look right. You continue to go down the wrong path. You can't ask for directions because you don't speak the language. You can't use your cell phone because you opted out of a data plan. You continue to walk with a sense of panic and hope that you eventually wind up in the right place.
Is this how you approach your healthcare... as a visitor to a foreign country? You don't speak the language but you are hopeful that someone is pointing you in the right direction. Take this test, take that one. Maybe you have this diagnosis, maybe not. Should you start to panic, yes, no, now?
The modern medical world is confusing. Medical appointments are shorter in length and there could be numerous specialists giving you medical care and advice. Each physician might be focused on his or her specific organ or system and no one is seeing you as a whole person. This is why you need me as your advocate. As someone who has a medical education, I know firsthand how the medical system works. I translate the language and ensure that my clients understand what their clinicians are saying so they can make the decisions most appropriate for themselves. I help my clients navigate the winding paths of the medical system maze. Most importantly, I give my clients someone they can turn to to help guide them through their medical journey. If you or a relative are struggling with the management of your healthcare needs, reach out to me, Melissa Hakim MD, Healthcare Advocate: your personal healthcare advisor.