This is a guest post by B.H. Green.
Dealing with the doctors, insurance, hospitals, and an entire healthcare system is difficult, stressful, costly, and more often than not extremely frustrating. It has come to a point where there is a name for a patient who knows how to navigate this chaos, it’s “Professional Patient.” You read it Lupus Chicks, you do not have to get a degree in order to become a professional, all you need is an overwhelming health system and learning skills to navigate it as you go, and poof, you become a professional patient.
Here is a list of books to guide you along this new proclaimed profession:
1. When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests by Leana Wen
This is a popular book among Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia patients and is highly recommended for all Lupus Chicks.
2. Prepare to Defend Yourself … How to Navigate the Healthcare System and Escape with Your Life by Matthew Minson
This book is written by a physician who gets how crazy things are for patients. He gives advice on how to avoid extra charges by doctors and hospitals, explains how hospitals work and gives the secret ins and outs that mostly doctors and professional patients know.
3. The Take-Charge Patient: How You Can Get the Best Medical Care by Martine Ehrenclou
The author collaborated a full dimensional perspective on healthcare by obtaining stories and advice through interviews and research with over two hundred doctors, patients, and surgeons.
4. You Bet Your Life!: The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes by Trisha Torrey
The author wrote this book after navigating the health system herself while having cancer. She shares the skills that she has learned as well as other patients stories.
5. The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time by Elizabeth S. Cohen
The author is a CNN medical correspondent and also has her own experience dealing with the healthcare system for both her mother and daughter’s healthcare.
6. Navigating Canada’s Health Care: A User Guide To Getting The Care You Need by Michael Decter and Francesca Grosso
There are similarities and differences in the healthcare system worldwide. This book is specified for Canadians, and may not have as much value to patients in other countries, but can be extremely helpful for those living in that area.
7. The Patient Advocate’s Handbook 300 Questions And Answers To Help You Care For Your Loved One At The Hospital And At Home by James Thomas Williams
This book covers a wide range of common questions patients have regarding their healthcare. It is also a great book for caregivers.
8. The Not So Patient Advocate: How to Get the Health Care You Need Without Fear or Frustration by Ellen Menard
There are great reviews for this book, which contains information on how to advocate for yourself as a patient as well as for relatives.
9. The Patient’s Playbook: How to Save Your Life and the Lives of Those You Love by Leslie D. Michelson
This book is “a compelling narrative of personal stories with lessons on sourcing excellent doctors, choosing the right treatment protocols, researching with precision, structuring the ideal support team” (amazon.com). Available in print, kindle, and audio format.
10. Health Care & You: A Guide to Navigating the Health Care System and Becoming Your Own Best Advocate by Diane Mullins
The author of this book is a registered nurse with an MBA in health care management, and she uses her experiences in both those roles to walk you through how to manage your health and the health care you receive, as well as how to advocate for yourself or your loved one. This book includes stories from the author’s own life to help you understand the intricacies of the system.
Congratulations on reading this list and taking another step forward to your new professional patient status. An imaginary award is on the way to you in the mail. Please look out for it and be sure to arm yourself with your award and books of knowledge the next time the healthcare system slaps you in the face.