Science, Darwin, and Advocacy Ethics

Posted by:

“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 would spend so much time with, day in and day out.

As was true then, and is true today, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Continue Reading →

4

When It’s Time to Use IDK

Posted by:

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 it’s the psychology of dealing with patient-clients, or the databanks of information about any specific disease, to the ability to predict an outcome, to the “facts” of health and medicine (remember when margarine was better for you than butter?), the amount and nature of knowledge changes from minute-to-minute to day-to-day to year-to-year.

Continue Reading →

1

Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

Posted by:

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 of the distributorship company and is making money in a half dozen ways – from kickbacks to distributorship profits – over each surgery he does.

But the story-within-the-story is that Dr. Sabit is also named in 12 lawsuits over the deaths of people who died as a result of his surgeries – and who had received those implants to help them live better-quality lives. It matters little whether the fault lies with the implants or the doctor’s skill level; those patients are dead.

But there’s more to the story, of course, and unfortunately, it’s not a part of the WSJ article.

Continue Reading →

5

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

Posted by:

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 work.

Why not?

The answer is actually very simple (it’s only four words!), and is provided below.

Continue Reading →

1

Bogus Claims Will Come Back to Bite You

Posted by:

(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 met on Match.com who weren’t “all that”. And, sad to say, (or, at the time, what seemed appalling to me) when I met them in person, after reading their profiles and seeing the photos they had posted, I was amazed at how much they had either stretched the truth or, in a couple of cases, out-and-out lied. From posting photos that made them look 30 lbs lighter or 20 years younger, to claiming they were far younger than they were, to saying they were widowed or divorced, only to learn they were really married… yikes.

(I had to wonder how little regard they had for me, or any other woman they hoped to connect with, that they didn’t think we’d ever figure out the truth? Then what?)

So what does this have to do with building an advocacy practice?

Plenty.

Continue Reading →

1
Page 1 of 29 12345...»