Medically reviewed on December 27, 2022 by Morgan Spicer, Medical Communications Manager. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
We’ve all heard it before: “New year, new me.” And while it’s great to focus on healthy habits to help you feel your best, overhauling your routine with the all or nothing approach doesn’t always help it stick. Whether the resolutions you rang in the new year with are getting a little less shiny than they were or not, there’s another approach to take control of your health this year — and that’s by making it your year of self-advocacy.
Self-advocacy is simply the act of speaking up for oneself and interests. In a healthcare setting, it means being able to speak up to healthcare professionals about your symptoms, voicing concerns, and bringing up any questions you may have. Although the definition of self-advocacy may sound straightforward, the truth is speaking up and being your own health advocate can be scary at times.
Luckily, self-advocacy is a skill that gets more comfortable as you cultivate confidence to get the care you need and deserve. “You’re the leader of the team taking care of you,” said Dr. Carl Streed Jr, MD, MPH, whose work focuses on healthcare equity for marginalized communities. “That means asking as many questions as are needed to make sure you understand what is being discussed.”
If you’re looking for a place to start honing your self-advocacy skills this year, our blog series can help. Last year, we interviewed Dr. Carl Streed Jr for advice on how patients can best advocate for themselves along each step of the patient care journey. So whether you’re wondering how to best prepare for appointments, when to get a second opinion, or how to follow up post-appointment, check out the blogs below for the answers and to these questions and more:
Another way to prioritize your health and self-advocacy is by partnering with telehealth suited to your new year’s goals. Our Virtual Care Visits make it easy to get care from anywhere and you can schedule a telehealth visit with a licensed clinician to get the right tests, prescriptions, and lifestyle recommendations for you.
Even though speaking up in a healthcare setting isn’t always easy, it’s a crucial factor of prioritizing your health. So unlike green juice cleanses or other fads, you can rest assured that the work you put in to hone your self-advocacy skills in 2023 will benefit your health and wellness for many years to come. And remember — we’re here for you every step of the way.