There are many different ways that people can advocate for themselves with their physicians. I always tell my patients that you are your own best advocate and in many cases, if someone has a severe disability, they may have a family member, whether it’s a spouse or child that can also advocate for them.
Number One is knowing about the disease. Knowing what MS is, knowing what your treatments are for and what they’re supposed to do.
I think number two is seeking out knowledge about new treatments. I have many patients that come to different programs where I or my colleagues will speak in our city, Atlanta or in different parts of the country and so learning about new things that are going on and bringing those back to your physician are also important. I think that another thing is that if you feel that someone is not listening to your concerns or that you’re continuing to get worse despite your treatment, it is okay to seek a second opinion.
I’ve many patients who’ve come to see me for a second opinion. I also have many patients who have seen someone else for a second opinion. When you have Multiple Sclerosis or a chronic disease, it’s a very intimate relationship with your healthcare provider. You spend a lot of time with them, you talk to them about many of the things that are going on in