Shelly Schaefer is a health researcher and patient advocate who helps individuals and families navigate their way through complicated medical decisions. When a family receives an unexpected, complicated, or troublesome diagnosis, it can be extremely confusing and disorienting. Friends and family often respond with both compassion and a host of stories about what happened to others in similar circumstances. Unfortunately, those stories typically do not translate into any kind of specific treatment plan or second opinion. This is where Ms. Schaefer’s work begins.

After an initial consult with the family, if she thinks she can be helpful, she will compile an up-to-date chart containing all current medical records, including reports, consults and evaluations for the patient to keep. Next a thorough literature search will be conducted, summarizing all the salient issues of the case, and outlining all the treatment options, including clinical trials, available both locally and across the country. This information is then reviewed with the patient and/or family.

From there, the patient can take this document to their treating physician to assist in making medical decisions. Alternatively, Ms. Schaefer is available to accompany the patient to medical appointments to assist in note taking, asking clarifying questions, and clarifying treatment options. Finally, Ms. Schaefer is often asked to be present before, during and after surgery, chemotherapy or medical procedures to act as a patient advocate.

Ms. Schaefer is not a physician. Although she completed nearly four years of medical school, she holds no professional license. She is a researcher. Her product is a summary of the current medical literature regarding your condition. She neither diagnoses, treats, nor suggests specific medical treatments. She does not guarantee any specific treatment results.