Today we’d like to introduce you to Rae Drazin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I always loved science. I decided to be a scientist because I have an analytical mind and love the challenge of research. I pursued graduate work at UCLA, receiving a Ph.D. in microbiology. My post-doctoral research studies centered on breast cancer and antimicrobial white blood cells. While I loved working in the lab, grants were hard to come by, I had two young children, and teaching seemed an attractive option. I taught at several of the schools in the California State University system, enjoying utilizing my scientific skills and honing my communication skills. While teaching, opportunity presented itself to head the Microbiology and Toxicology departments in two separate independent testing laboratories, where I became knowledgeable in the areas of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. This expertise led me to start my own consulting company, Science Consultants to Industry in 1984, where I helped start-ups to design medical devices in ways to make them safe for patients as well as utilitarian, and devised unique protocols for larger companies. All this time, knowing my background in research and knowledge of the medical world, I had been the go-to person when my friends and family had medical questions: Should I change doctors? What do you think of the treatment I’ve been advised to follow? Should I look for options? Where should I look? I had always believed strongly that the patient should take an active part in her/his health care, and that the treatment plan should be based on shared-decision making between the patient and the health care provider. When the profession of Patient Advocate/Health Navigator came into being around 2010, I realized that I wanted to pursue this as my primary career. I had the prerequisite skill set, and the passion to help people take charge of their medical care. So, in 2012 I re-invented myself as a Patient Advocate.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a rough road, but embarking on a new endeavor always has its challenges. Being a compassionate person at heart, and caring about people led me to often forget that I’m involved in a business. As much as I would love to do this work as a volunteer, it is a business. I am still learning to set limits and boundaries with my clients.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rae E. Drazin, Ph.D., Patient Advocate – what should we know?
I am a professional patient advocate, specializing in medical navigation. I am a sole practitioner my practice is geared to ensuring that each of my clients gets the best and most appropriate medical care. Many of my clients suffer from serious illnesses; from recent diagnoses to flare-ups of chronic conditions. I help them to understand their conditions, and I support them in decision making regarding treatment options. I help them decide when it is appropriate to get a second opinion, and assist them in identifying the practitioners for that second opinion. I accompany my clients to doctor appointments to ensure optimal communication; i.e., that all questions are answered; that the doctor listens to what the patient has to say, and that the patient understands the doctor’s recommendations. My client (and family members, if the client agrees) receives a written report after the appointment based on my notes. In the event of a hospitalization, I assist in the admission and discharge processes, and pay daily visits to hospitalized clients to monitor their treatment and hopefully help to avert medical errors. Unlike many others in my profession, I only take on a limited number of clients at a time in order to devote as much time as needed with each one.
I believe that my specific skill set (cancer researcher, microbiologist, university lecturer, consultant to medical device and pharma companies) provides me with the expertise that I somewhat unique in this profession.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband has been immensely supportive in my business, as he has been throughout my other careers. When I am called away to be with a client in the hospital, for example, he takes care of all the household tasks. My adult children have always been helpful, offering advice and support.
Several of those individuals who have mentored me when I began my business have remained friends. We learn from each other, and continue to help each other.
I have learned tremendously from my clients–how they address adversity, how they live. They constantly enrich my life. Many are my role models.
- Address: 8549 Wilshire Blvd. #1100
Beverly Hills, 90211
- Website: www.md-advocate.net
- Phone: 310-968-0404
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: Rae Drazin, Patient Advocate
- Other: LinkedIn, Facebook