Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

What’s one way that you effectively advocate for your patients?


Universally relevant pearls of wisdom from a wide variety of perspectives, including primary care, psychiatry, pediatrics, chemical dependency, and cardiology.

Connecting with Patients | March 23, 2018 | <1 min read


Laura Hanyok, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

When my patients need to see a new specialist in a timely fashion, I politely email the specialist, concisely explain the question I have and the reason for referral, and ask if the specialist or a colleague can see the patient within the needed period of time. Almost always this works, and as a primary care physician I often learn something about the condition along the way.

Margaret Chisolm, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

The best way I can advocate for my patients is by ensuring that they know and feel that I am on their side in whatever challenges arise.

What do you think?

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Michael Crocetti, MD, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

As a pediatrician, one way that I advocate for patients is always putting the child first. We are in a unique situation – up until the child can advocate for themselves we rely on others to speak for the child. As a pediatric advocate, discussions with parents/guardians and others should focus on what is in the best interest of the child. Sticking to this strategy will allow children to grow into healthy young adults.

Mike Fingerhood, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

I try to always put myself in my patient’s shoes. Most often advocacy is to help with frustration—timely appointments related to referrals, prior authorization for tests or medications, problems with bills, and in particular for my patients, overcoming the sense of being stigmatized based on medical diagnosis.

Roy Ziegelstein, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

I think most physicians think of advocating for patients to others—for example, to insurance or drug companies. I think I advocate most effectively for my patients by helping to achieve a relationship in which they feel comfortable sharing their innermost feelings with me, and then feel comfortable doing that with their other health care providers as well.