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Coloring Outside of the Lines


Have you ever been in your doctor's office and realized that you were not listening to what your doctor was saying because you were trying to process the information given? Have you ever left your doctor's office realizing that you did not bring up some of your concerns because you were too caught up in the moment? Have you ever wondered why tests were being ordered and if they were necessary?

These experiences and more have happened to countless people. You are not alone in your frustration with the current healthcare system

As a professional patient advocate I often get asked what do I do. That question is usually followed up with why would I need an advocate. My straight forward answer is I help my clients navigate through the complex healthcare system. I will then go into detail about all the services I offer and how they would personally benefit by having a patient advocate by their side. As a patient advocate, I make sure all the important items are covered during your appointments and I also make sure that the medical team will be thinking outside of the box to make sure they are seeing you as a person and not just a sum of your symptoms.

As an MD, I give my clients an extra bonus of having someone with medical knowledge and experience working as their extra set of eyes (and ears). I know first hand how the ever complicated medical system works and I understand the jargon that is used. I am able to relate to the physicians on an equal level. I hold the healthcare team accountable and ensure that the correct information is being relayed to my client and that the healthcare plan which was decided upon at the appointment is being followed outside of the office.

The best description I have heard of what I do is I color outside of the lines. Think of the current healthcare system as a page in a coloring book. We all strive to stay inside the lines when we color. But is this the best way to approach your health?

Yes, there are times when it is important to stay within the lines. You will wind up with a beautiful picture but the picture would be the same for anyone who would color it.

As a professional patient advocate, I have the experience and more importantly the knowledge to know when to color outside of the lines. I know how to ask the difficult questions and to find the best way forward with my clients' needs in mind. I work side by side with my clients' medical teams and enable the plan to be followed in between appointments. I know when to question on my clients' behalf their treatment options, diagnostic tests, and followups. I color outside of the lines to ensure my clients receive the best medical treatment.

Sometimes it is best to color outside the lines, in order to get the results you need. Ask yourself, do you want the same approach to healthcare as the system currently dictates or are you willing to have someone by your side who knows when and how to make the healthcare system personalized to fit your needs? Someone who knows how to color outside of the lines.

As always, if things are not going as you plan with your health and you need some guidance, don't forget to reach out to me... your health advocate. A partner in your health. www.melissahakim.com

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