Why I Became a Healthcare Advocate

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Dr. David Wilcox.

Health Transparency: The Real Truth with Dr. David Wilcox 

I truly believe that what you encounter in life molds you into the person you become. For me, I was destined to become a healthcare advocate and in this article, I will share my journey.

Being a 19 year old young man is difficult enough, but imagine being a 19 year old who is self-supporting and taking care of a developmentally disabled daughter. There are so many factors that come into play. Being a minimum wage worker at the time we were heavily reliant on government programs to get our daughter the care she needed. There were times when the doctors told us to say our goodbyes as my daughter almost died, yet she always pulled through. To be prepared for moments like that never happens. You trust you pray and you never leave her bedside.

I saw the healthcare system from a patient’s perspective and I never lose the perspective of that 19 year old young man who took his daughter from appointment to appointment and navigated the complexities of the American Healthcare System. Even today when I am communicating with individuals who are having a hard time dealing with their diagnosis, insurance company, or high priced prescription drug prices I remember that scared 19 year old who was at the mercy of the healthcare system. All of the clinicians I met during that time were so good to my daughter and I but I could tell there were some real problems with the healthcare system they operated in.

Because of my experience accessing the healthcare system when I was laid off from my manufacturing job I decided to become a nurse. I started with a Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) certificate and then as opportunities arose I went back to school as an adult to obtain a Registered Nurse (RN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA), and finally a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Although degrees are important to obtain a seat at the table where you can make real changes to the healthcare system, they mean absolutely nothing if you lose your compassion along the way. Once I finished my DNP I thought what is the best way I can use my compassion to give back to patients the knowledge I have over my close to 30 year career in healthcare? I had seen some very bad situations play out in healthcare systems, some of which cost patients their lives. One of which involved a young mother who was misdiagnosed and ended up dying shortly after giving birth. Experiencing situations like that change you, you can’t go back. There were many mistakes made during this young mother’s hospital stay and as a medical professional, you are taught to deal with your emotions and not discuss cases like this publicly.

A recent study that came out in the fall of 2023 reported that 1 in 4 hospitalized patients will experience a harmful event. I continually ask myself why that is occurring. Medical doctors and nurses don’t come to work expecting to harm someone, in fact, most of them get into healthcare to help people. But these clinicians are under a huge amount of stress to take care of patients many times, at unsafe staffing levels. Although they try to make their voices heard, there are literally patients right in front of them who need care, so they step up to the plate every time. So what’s the answer, or how do we make the biggest impact?

When I obtained my Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) I thought about my younger self and how a manual on how to access the complexities of the American Healthcare System which had never been written, would have helped me tremendously. So in June 2020, I began researching and writing the book. The book was published in June of 2021 and I have received so much positive feedback from average Americans on how they have used the information to care for themselves and their loved ones.

I believe part of the answer to safe patient care revolves around the patient and family members being an active part of their healthcare. Stressed out clinicians do as much as they can to keep you safe but unfortunately, mistakes happen. If you are proactively educated about your patient safety, such as asking questions about new drugs that a nurse may be trying to give you, you just may save yourself or your loved one from being a statistic. A knowledgeable patient stands a fighting chance and I am committed to educating the American public one patient at a time.

My daughter now resides in a residential community in a house with other developmentally delayed individuals. She has access to clinical staff 24/7 and is well cared for. This didn’t happen accidentally, as we had many struggles to get her there including firing one of her Neurologists whose care was subpar. But being armed with healthcare knowledge we were able to get her the care she needs. You can do that for yourself and your loved ones. Please remember that there are people like me out there to assist you. People who were molded by life to become healthcare advocates.


According to a statement, “Healthcare is complex and that is not an accident. It is complex by the healthcare entities vying for your healthcare dollars. Covid has exacerbated the American Healthcare System, which was fragile, to begin with. Many clinicians are leaving healthcare due to burnout. How does the average layperson navigate the complexities of the American Healthcare System where a prescription could cost you $5 at one pharmacy and $500 at another? What does the average layperson do when their insurance company rejects their claim? Proactive education of the American Healthcare System prior to accessing it is the key to safely navigating the healthcare system. Until now, little information has been available to provide the layperson with the knowledge they need to be a better partner in their health care. Dr. David Wilcox’s book How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival” is a game-changer and will provide you with the skill set you need to navigate the American Healthcare System.

Website: https://drdavidwilcox.com/

Dr. Wilcox is a Doctorate prepared nurse who also holds a Masters in Health Administration and is Board Certified in Nursing Informatics. Dr. Wilcox has 28 years of healthcare experience in which he worked as a bedside nurse, hospital administrator, and in healthcare information technology which has helped him to develop his unique perspective on the American Healthcare System.

Dr. Wilcox is the author of the book “How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival (2021)” available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578878364

Dr. Wilcox currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and their three dogs.

Dr Wilcox’s website: Dr. David Wilcox – Healthcare, American Healthcare System (drdavidwilcox.com)



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