Frequently Asked Questions

What questions do you have? 

Browse the commonly asked questions below, or send us one directly.  


[fa icon="plus-square"] Why do I need a patient advocate?

The medical system is complicated.  It’s easy to get lost, especially when you’re not at your best.  I'll help you navigate it.  For a complete list of services, click here.

[fa icon="plus-square"] I’m overwhelmed by the thought of my next appointment.

At our first meeting, we will review your concerns in detail and prepare a care summary and action plan. You can use this action plan to take the next steps yourself, or I can assist you every step along the way. Prior to appointments, we'll review your concerns and prioritize your goals for the appointment. We will prepare you for what will likely take place at the appointment. We'll create an appointment sheet to use during the appointment. We'll help you feel more confident and less overwhelmed.

[fa icon="plus-square"] How do you help prepare me for an appointment?
At our first meeting, we will review your concerns in detail and prepare a summary to use at the doctor’s office.  We will prepare you for what will likely take place at the appointment.  We’ll review the questions you currently have - as well as questions you may want to consider asking — and we’ll determine how involved you want me to be in the appointment.  
[fa icon="plus-square"] Will you come to my appointment with me?

Yes! I prefer to be present at your appointments.  Appointments are short, and a great deal of information is communicated quickly, and often in medical lingo.  It’s easy to miss something. I will be there to help you understand it.  I'll also make sure all pertinent information is communicated to your doctor.  I’ll write up a summary after the appointment, provide any necessary education about the diagnosis or treatment plan and ensure you know what your next steps are.

[fa icon="plus-square"] What about after the appointment?

I’ll be with you then, too. It’s not always clear what your next step should be, and I can help you figure that out, research options, point you toward the right specialists, and educate you about your illness and options.

[fa icon="plus-square"] How can you help me if I’m in the hospital?

I will meet with you and help you understand what’s happening. I will make sure your care team has the correct information about your history, medications, and allergies to help avoid preventable mistakes.  I’ll advocate on your behalf to ensure all diagnoses are considered. I’ll be present for daily rounds so that I hear all the plans and can intercede on your behalf.  I'll review key areas of danger (infection control, clot prevention, fall prevention, etc) and make sure you are as safe as you can be while in the hospital. The hospital is a very stressful place for patients; I can be a calm source of information and will take the time to ensure you understand your diagnosis and treatment options.  

[fa icon="plus-square"] I’m worried about my health--but it’s not a crisis.

This is the perfect time to consult with me! I can organize your medical information for you, create a summary sheet of your medical conditions and care, review preventive needs and help you write your living will.  Having all of this organized before you get sick will make sure you're ready when you do get sick. I'll provide you with an action list of the next steps I recommend you take to improve your health. You can choose to have my assistance with completing that list, or can do it on your own. Either way, I'll know what I need to about your medical history, so in the event there is an emergency, I'll be ready to help when called.


[fa icon="plus-square"] No one can figure out what’s wrong with me? Can you help?
Yes!  My experience as a family physician with a special interest in helping patients with difficult to solve medical issues is invaluable here!  I will take a detailed history of all your symptoms, tests, treatments tried and summarize these for your providers so that everyone has this information.  I can research additional avenues to consider and help arrange 2nd opinions if needed.
[fa icon="plus-square"] My aging family member lives in Sacramento and I’m far away - how can you help me?

It’s frightening to have a loved one facing serious medical issues and not be present to help.  I can attend appointments with your loved one and ensure that your questions and concerns are addressed.  With your loved one’s permission, I will communicate with you about what took place at the appointment, my observations and concerns. I know the medical experts in the local area, as well as who to contact to provide any additional needed support your loved one might need, such as home health care, or placement in a longer-term living situation. You don't have to do all of it alone!

[fa icon="plus-square"] I'm a Veteran and receive my care at the VA. Can you help?

Absolutely!  I'm aware of the recent news about delayed care at the VA and poor outcomes.  I am a disabled veteran myself and receive some of my care at the VA.  I am passionate about Veteran's health care concerns and knows the system.  I'll make sure you get the care you need.  

If you're a Veteran filing for disability, I will work alongside your Veteran's Service Organization (VSO) to make sure you get the maximum disability percentage to which you are entitled.  I'll attend your compensation medical appointments with you to ensure that all of your medical symptoms are listed correctly the first time.  If you have a claim that you are appealing, my medical expertise is invaluable in reviewing it to ensure that all of your issues were taken into account when your percentage was assigned.  

[fa icon="plus-square"] Why should I hire you instead of using the hospital patient advocate?

An independent patient advocate works for you, not the hospital.  I have your best interests in mind, whereas hospital patient advocates are ultimately covering the hospital's best interests.  I'm able to attend appointments with you in any hospital system and can recommend second opinions outside of your medical group.  I have no obligation to the hospital or to an insurance company. I have only your best interests in mind.  

[fa icon="plus-square"] I don’t live in the Sacramento area - Can you still help me with my medical issues?

Videoconferencing allows me to "meet" with you wherever you are. In some situations, I'll recommend a local advocate, but in many cases I am able to advocate well for you from a distance. Give me a call so we can discuss your situation and determine what is best for you.