Personal Health Care Advocates -

                 Protecting your rights and welfare within a hostile health care system
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Personal Health Care Advocates - PHCAs

What are PHCAs?

Why PHCAs are inevitable

A code of ethics

Services provided by PHCAs

Where will PHCAs come from?

How to find a PHCA

Becoming a PHCA?

What are Personal Health Care Advocates?

PHCAs are physicians who step away from one role – that of medical practitioner – in order to take on another, equally vital role – that of patient’s advocate.

PHCAs do not practice medicine.  Instead, they use their professional expertise to provide their clients - health care consumers - with the resources they need to successfully navigate our complex health care system.

Consider the advantages you might enjoy if you were fortunate enough to have a caring physician in your family. "Your sister the doctor" could educate you, and advise you as to how to become a more effective patient – making sure you have a good understanding of your medical conditions, of the fundamental decisions you and your doctors must make in dealing with those conditions, of the medical options you have, of the right questions to ask your doctors in evaluating those options, and of how and when to supplement your doctor’s recommendations with an opinion from another physician.

When you become acutely ill, your sister the doctor could become even more “hands on.” Figuratively looking over your doctor’s shoulder, she could see to it that, despite the fear, apprehension and illness-induced incapacity you may be experiencing, you still understand everything that is happening to you, you've been fully apprised of all your options, and the decisions you make are well-informed ones.  And she would be quick to step forward (with a gentle query, a probing question, or a firm hand, depending on the situation) when she sees something amiss. 

Your sister the doctor is the one knowledgeable professional you can always count on to be concerned only for your safety and welfare.  And the mere fact that she is there will give your doctors the impetus they need, and the cover they need, to concentrate on doing what's best for you - not on what's best for your HMO or the Medicare intermediary.

Just like "your sister the doctor", PHCAs become your doctor in the family. Their mission is to make sure you have all the support you need to get what you deserve from our complex and increasingly tight-fisted health care system. 

Who are PHCAs?

PHCAs are physicians who, on either a part-time or full-time basis, leave the practice of medicine to take on the practice of a new medical profession - that of personal health care advocate.

The typical PHCA is a middle-aged or older physician, experienced, adept at dealing with people, and financially on solid footing, who wishes to tap once again into that primal motivating force (perhaps long-forgotten) that led him or her to a career in medicine in the first place – the desire to help people achieve and maintain their health.

Ideally, PHCAs have a strong clinical background – at least 5 to 10 years of clinical practice.  This experience assures that they are intimately and thoroughly familiar with the stresses of clinical medicine, and gives them a clear understanding of the pressures faced by both patients and by physicians. They understand what they can do to help relieve that pressure, and to encourage the physician and patient to work together as a team, in order to achieve the optimal outcome for that patient.

Next: Why PHCAs are inevitable

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