We get asked this question a lot. Having family in the medical profession can be a real asset. They might answer questions about antibiotics, make an informal referral to an orthopedist they know, or join a team of caregivers supporting another family member’s healthcare.

An independent health advisor, however, plays a different role. Advisors help navigate the healthcare system by collaborating with patients and families. Adding medical expertise to the mix can absolutely benefit and augment an advisor’s work. But having a physician in the family should not prevent you from engaging the services of a health advisor.

Here are six reasons you need a health advisor even if you have a physician in the family:

  1. Advisors help navigate the system. The U.S. healthcare system is incredibly complex, and doctors are but one important piece of that puzzle. A health advisor understands all aspects of the healthcare landscape and can help you manage physician referrals, insurance claims, billing questions, prescription drugs and hospital discharge planning, just to name a few.
  2. Advisors take the long view. Accessing the best healthcare requires a plan. A physician in the family can help manage a one-time issue, but an advisor creates a strategy for better healthcare, including both immediate and long-term treatment options.
  3. Advisors are with you every step of the way. Advisors prepare for appointments and sometimes accompany patients to those visits. They follow up afterward and help patients plan for their next appointment. An advisor has the resources to help those with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diagnoses find and arrange activities. They can also do deep research into the treatment of a disease.
  4. Advisors have an extensive network. Having a cardiac surgeon in the family is great, but what if you develop breast cancer or diabetes? You’ll want access to the best oncologist or endocrinologist. Advisors develop relationships with a variety of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare companies. Their connections can help get you in the door almost anywhere you need to go.
  5. Advisors are available. Health advisors are always on call. There is no need to interrupt your sister-in-law’s vacation with a question about a rash (or something more serious). Advisors are available 24/7 and have back-up staff to support your healthcare needs.
  6. Advisors are objective. An advisor is independent, bringing a broad, objective perspective to treatment alternatives. In matters of health, physician family members may become emotional—even if they are used to seeing the same diagnosis in their own practice. Advisors can help patients and families think through their options in a clear, calm manner.

You and your family could benefit from a health advisor, even if your cousin is a neurologist. With over 20 years of healthcare experience, Better Health Advisors provides advice and support to people of all ages and health conditions. You do not have to go through this alone. Better Health Advisors will provide guidance every step of the way.