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What makes medical advocacy a good career?

What is the thing you enjoy most about being a medical advocacy lawyer?
What makes you enjoy being able to get justice for people who experience inequality with a medical professional.

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Daria’s Answer

Medical advocacy is a rewarding and impactful career that offers several benefits and opportunities for individuals interested in helping others navigate the complex healthcare system. Here are some reasons why medical advocacy can be a good career choice:

1. Making a Difference: Medical advocates play a crucial role in improving healthcare outcomes for individuals and communities. By advocating for patients' rights, ensuring access to quality care, and addressing healthcare disparities, medical advocates positively impact the lives of those they serve.

2. Empowering Patients: Medical advocates empower patients by providing them with information, resources, and support to make informed healthcare decisions. They help patients navigate the healthcare system, understand their rights, and advocate for their needs and preferences.

3. Bridging Communication Gaps: Medical advocates act as a bridge between patients, healthcare providers, and the healthcare system. They help facilitate effective communication and understanding, ensuring that patients' concerns and wishes are heard and addressed.

4. Addressing Healthcare Disparities: Medical advocacy often focuses on addressing healthcare disparities and promoting health equity. Advocates work to eliminate barriers to healthcare access, reduce disparities in healthcare outcomes, and promote culturally sensitive care for marginalized populations.

5. Continuous Learning and Growth: Medical advocacy requires staying up-to-date with healthcare policies, regulations, and advancements. This career offers opportunities for continuous learning and professional development, allowing advocates to expand their knowledge and skills in areas such as patient rights, health policy, ethics, and healthcare systems.

6. Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Work: Medical advocates often work collaboratively with healthcare professionals, social workers, legal experts, and other stakeholders. This interdisciplinary approach fosters a diverse and enriching work environment, allowing advocates to learn from others and contribute to comprehensive patient care.

7. Flexibility and Variety: Medical advocacy can be pursued in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, non-profit organizations, government agencies, patient advocacy groups, or as independent consultants. This flexibility allows individuals to choose a work environment that aligns with their interests and values.

8. Personal Fulfillment: Helping others and making a positive impact on people's lives can be personally fulfilling. Medical advocacy provides the opportunity to witness the positive outcomes of your efforts and see the tangible difference you make in the lives of individuals and communities.

9. Job Security and Demand: The need for medical advocates is growing as healthcare systems become more complex, and patients face increasing challenges in navigating the system. As a result, there is a demand for skilled professionals who can provide advocacy and support to patients and their families.

It's important to note that medical advocacy requires strong communication skills, empathy, critical thinking, and an understanding of healthcare systems and policies. Building a solid foundation through education, training, and practical experience is crucial for success in this field.
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DENNIS’s Answer

Hi Emily:
Daria's Answer hits all the good parts. However, as a lawyer I'd like to address the lawyer part.
As a medical patient advocate you are really looking at medical malpractice cases. There are two sides to those - one representing the patient injured by a doctor's malpractice or a lawyer defending a doctor or nurse (there are nurse malpractice cases too). Representing a patient means going after a doctor for his/her poor treatment of a patient. These are not easy cases! They require you to know the law and medicine. Plus you need a doctor who can review the records and say yes - that doctor screwed up!
As a lawyer representing doctors or nurses, you still need a knowledge of the law as well as medicine but now you are looking for the reason the doctor made the decision to treat the patient in that way.
Both are very rewarding career paths.
There are also patient advocates who work in the hospital themselves and are there for all patients all the time. I do not think a law degree is necessary for this job. However, as Daria points out, it is very rewarding and a much needed position as medical care becomes more complex!
Good luck in whatever you elect to do!
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