Best Doctors: From the inside

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Best Doctors Member Advocates are key members of our team and are absolutely essential to the world-class second medical opinion process that the organisation provides.

The Members Advocate team is comprised of 73 experienced nurses whose primary focus is to accompany their patients throughout the entire second medical opinion process. Together they provide an outstanding and thorough service to members from over 24 countries including: USA, Canada, UK, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand, among others.

Half American, half German Susanna Ashley moved to Madrid when she began her nursing degree at Saint Louis University (Madrid Campus).

Since 2012 she has been a vital member of the Member Advocate team and is now working as an Assistant Nurse Team Lead, one of the key leaders of the EMEAA Medical Operations Team.

Best Doctors Member Advocates are key members of our team and are absolutely essential to the world-class second medical opinion process that the organisation provides.

The Members Advocate team is comprised of 73 experienced nurses whose primary focus is to accompany their patients throughout the entire second medical opinion process. Together they provide an outstanding and thorough service to members from over 24 countries including: USA, Canada, UK, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand, among others.

Half American, half German Susanna Ashley moved to Madrid when she began her nursing degree at Saint Louis University (Madrid Campus).

Since 2012 she has been a vital member of the Member Advocate team and is now working as an Assistant Nurse Team Lead, one of the key leaders of the EMEAA Medical Operations Team.

1. How long have you been working at Best Doctors?

My five year anniversary at Best Doctors in coming up in March 2017!

2. What originally propelled you to join the organisation?

I graduated with a nursing degree from Saint Louis University, an American University with a campus in Madrid. This city is spectacular and I was really looking to stay after graduation. As I didn’t find the job security and structure I was looking for in the Spanish medical system, I began searching for alternative ways to develop my career as a nurse. That is when I came across Best Doctors.

I was thrilled to discover that the EMEAA headquarters of this Boston based company where located in Madrid. When I heard that Best Doctors was looking for native English-speaking nurses I knew it was a perfect fit: I’m a qualified nurse, I speak three languages (English, German and Spanish), and Best Doctors allowed me to conduct my job in my native language; all the while being able to stay in Madrid.  Ideal

3. Why do you believe that a second medical opinion is vital for patients?

Medicine is constantly evolving thanks to research and new medical discoveries around the world. As a patient it is important to obtain a second medical opinion to increase ones access to more information and a wider spectrum of knowledge from more than one doctor. This way, it is very likely that the patient will be exposed to additional, pertinent advice than only the diagnosis and treatment plan from one doctor.

A second opinion really can never hurt, and even if no new information is given, having the reassurance that one’s diagnosis and recommended course of treatment are correct is truly key to peace of mind.

4. What are the most satisfying aspects of your job at Best Doctors?

I absolutely love being able to help patients, as well as being their personal advocate (hence our job titles “Member Advocate”).

Receiving feedback and gratitude from our patients during their second medical opinion process or once they receive their final report from their assigned medical expert, is always satisfying.

In addition, my colleagues and in particular the team of nurses and case coordinators I work with make my day-to-day even more enjoyable. Best Doctors has a very positive and fulfilling environment.

5. What would you tell a nurse who is contemplating joining the BD team?

I would tell a nurse that the Best Doctors team is a supportive one to work with, but you must always be a team player.  The BD team is like a big family and you won’t be able to find that level of comradery anywhere else.

6. How can people actively contribute to promoting the importance of a second medical opinion in today’s society?

Word of mouth is essential. If someone has a positive experience obtaining a second medical opinion, then that person is likely going to tell their friends, family and/or colleagues.

My very own patients have told me that they called Best Doctors because their colleagues at work or other policy holders from their same insurer told them about their experience with the service.

7. What are some of your most memorable anecdotes working on BD cases?

One of my most memorable cases at Best Doctors was with a patient who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He has now used our service twice for the same condition.

He was so pleased with the service he had received the first time that he came back to us knowing that he would get the same, consistent attention from us the second time around.  He stated the second opinion his expert gave him helped provide the reassurance he needed and answered all of his questions. In addition, the patient told me the medical reports he received from Best Doctors gave him the confidence needed to make the right decision about his treatment.

I will never forget this patient. Every time I called him during his Interconsultation process he would answer the phone and say, “I know who it is! I recognise you by your accent”.

Being able to work with patients from all over Europe (UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, etc.) is also rewarding.  It’s great when patients ask me where I am calling from- they are fascinated when I explain my background and that I’m calling from Madrid. They almost always enjoy asking about the weather too!

8. How do you believe you are positively affecting the day-to-day struggle related your client’s illnesses?

I believe I positively affect my patients by giving them the opportunity to be listened to.  Most patients state they are seen in person by their doctors for a very brief period of time. I think they really appreciate having a phone call from a Best Doctors Member Advocate. The international team of nurses is trained to truly give each patient the time they deserve to discuss their illnesses and concerns in depth.

 

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