Thursday, June 11, 2009

Your Rights, Doctors, and Advocacy

I used to be a union officer, I was used to telling people , protect yourselves, take notes, know your rights and all the other goodies of advocacy.
So why didn't I do the same for myself? Because your personal doctor is supposed to have your best interest at heart , unlike a big corporation, right? That was my mistake , I didn't realize that some doctors, like in Downing and McPeak, ARE big corporations, they advertise themselves as being the hometown doctors right? Hmmm,,, not quite the way we all think of the little old friendly hometown doctors, nope, these guys have vice presidents ( Dr Downing } and shareholders ( Dr Porter and the other docs ) they have listed their corporation as LLC limited liability corporation protecting themselves somewhat against having to take responsibility for their actions.
So, what to do about protecting yourselves? They have the connections , the big time lawyers, and sometimes it is overwhelming to go up against people like this even when you are definitely in the right! So I am back to square one, just like being a union officer, I am going to tell you, take notes, take a recorder and record the office visit, the " seminar " that way, you can go back and listen to what they tell you, what they haven't told you and make your decision on what is best for you, whether you should take the risks involved in a procedure, whether your doctor is forthcoming with you , does he answer your questions? Have you double checked to see if what he tells you is the whole truth?
I have went up against big corporations, I know that to get anywhere , you have to research first so that you know what questions to ask, and know what the answers should be. When they tell you " it isn't policy " ask to speak to the person that makes the policy. When they tell you that they can't change the policy, demand to talk to the person who has the authority to make decisions.
It takes time sometimes against big corporations, I have had to go up through many supervisors, officers, and in a few cases to the board of directors of companies to get what should have been right to start with , no company wants to cut you a deal, or do what is right, if it is going to cost them money, you have to be patient, it takes time, you have to not give up, if you have to file complaints, reports, go to the news, go to the public, keep going, get your rights, never take no.

I have had contracts with cell phone companies cut in half, free offers, etc,, but only after I didn't take no for an answer, went up to higher people who could make those decisions. I had a boat repainted after it was out of warranty, not because they knew it was the right thing to do, but because I kept up the pressure, one person at a time until I reached the top.
Don't do any less with your own doctors, demand answers, get what you pay for, demand the truth, and if they still fail you, stand up for your rights, make it as right as you can, make them accountable, you will not only be helping yourself, you may help others from not getting hurt.

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