Open Accessibility Menu

Do These Things to Advocate for Your Health

  • Category: LiveSmart
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baldwin

Older woman talking to a doctor

Here are tips to help you take charge of your health and be a wiser health care consumer.

When it comes to your health, you are your own greatest advocate. Sure, you have doctors and specialists to turn to when something is wrong. But keeping track of your own health history, challenges and needs – and making sure you get the kind of medical care you need and deserve – is up to you. With you sitting at the helm as the captain of your own ship, you'll be more likely to get the best medical care and treatment possible when you need it.

Here are 5 ways to be your own health advocate:

  1. Keep track of your health history. Even if the doctor has detailed records of your health history, it's helpful for you to keep track of everything, too. Ask for copies of your files or take your own notes after each visit. This way, you have easy access to all of your health information whenever you need it or if you see a new doctor.
  2. Pay attention to screenings and vaccines. Don't wait for a doctor to remember to tell you that's it time for you to go for a cancer screening or get up to date on a vaccine. Keep a calendar of all screenings and vaccines you have had and when you need them next. This way, you'll know when it's time to schedule your next appointment and won't have to rely on someone else to remember for you.
  3. Do your research. If you have a health concern, do your research before visiting with your doctor. This will make you more well-informed so you can ask questions, request specific treatments or be better prepared for what to expect. Your doctor may have a different approach or recommendation than what you have read about, but going into the conversation with some knowledge will allow you to be a wiser and more savvy health care consumer.
  4. Be proactive about your health. Doctors can treat illness and disease and are equipped to monitor various aspects of your health, such as your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels and more. But they cannot make you a healthier person. Only you can do that. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercising regularly, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol, reducing stress and getting enough sleep are up to you.
  5. Speak up. If you are uneasy about a treatment or medication, say something. If you want to know about alternatives, ask. If you have questions about a bill or the cost of a procedure, make those concerns heard. It's okay to speak up when you have questions or concerns about anything related to your health care. If your doctor is not open to hearing your concerns or is not willing to discuss things in more detail with you when you need clarification, it may be time to look for a new health care provider.

 For more LiveSmart articles, visit

Copyright 2023-2024 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc.  Health eCooks® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: December 19, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy, ADA compliance and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.