How to Become A Legal Professional in Health Care

Why Health Care?: The Contemporary Health Care Conundrum

The traditional health model is hospital driven and doctor dominated. Canada is known for its superb national health care system and Canada’s physicians are an excellent national resource, but our healthcare systems have been organized around and under them in dysfunctional ways. The result is a waste of talent in all directions. Our health care system makes suboptimal use of the special training and skills not only of physicians, but a wide range of other healthcare professionals.

Contemporary health care has evolved into a dynamic professional services market that requires the integration of an increasing number of emergent  health professionals and health technologists into a patient-centered service continuum. Health is synonymous with societal wealth and well- being in a knowledge- based economy with an ageing population.

Patients Want To Take Charge of Their Own Health and Healthcare

They increasingly see themselves as partners in their own care and are less willing to accept

  • poor customer service
  • communication gaps and outdated communication technology
  • long waiting times
  • poorly integrated services

They expect to interact with a responsive system that is designed around their needs, not around the  preferences  of providers and system managers.

The New Health Care Paradigm

The health services market has become multi-disciplinary and requires communication and collaboration amongst its current divisions in care, cure, control and community. The current medical profession is slowly becoming superseded by health professions, health technologists and health consultancies who can design and deliver credible patient focused pathways.

Choosing a preferred “health pathway”  has gone beyond a stand-alone straightforward decision.  Every professional is inclined to prescribe a mode of treatment that is compatible with or complements their professional service health pathway.  Governments are increasingly expecting patients to participate in the funding of their personalized preferred health pathway above prescribed  basic universal coverage levels and compatible with their personal financial capability.

Becoming a Paraprofessional: The Patient Health Pathway Advocate

The patient focused “health pathway” is in need of a guide: the paraprofessional patient advocate who can give society affordable access to practical expertise in the health professions. The reason why the paraprofessional may be the solution is because they possess sufficient insight into an area of expertise as well as have the genuine capacity to empathize. The paraprofessional can support patients with providing them the necessary support and expertise to ensure that what is being communicated conforms to their preferred “health pathway”.

The UK LLM/MA Law – Medical Law & Ethics

Health care professional expertise is identified by a credential that has a health label and, increasingly, associated with a graduate credential. Professionals with graduate credentials accord more respect and recognition to, in this instance, paraprofessionals with equivalent credentials.

The UK is the pioneer in developing direct entry one-year graduate LLM/MA Law degrees for baccalaureate degree holders with paraprofessional aspirations. Health sciences and social work undergraduates are ideal candidates for an LLM or MA Law in Medical Law & Ethics. The legal component provides them with the requisite learning experiences to understand the fundamental principles and practices associated with one or a series of related health care services.

For example, the Ottawa Cancer Foundation has taken the Canadian lead in setting up a cancer coaching mentoring program (www.cancer.org).  An aspiring paraprofessional interested in cancer patient advocacy would focus on the principles of oncology. The law components would equip them with the social advocacy and health program consultation and navigation skills. The ethics course would enable them to provide patients with the all- important counselling and mentoring that is critical in the development of a patient focused health pathway.

There is a highly emotional debate  currently taking place on the deficiencies in Canada’s recently enacted Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation. It has illustrated the extent of public frustration and anger at the complete absence of ethics principles and practices in its application (www.dyingwithdignity.ca) and the need for the inclusion of ethics and ethics professionals in forthcoming amendments as well other health pathways.

Graduates of the LLM/MA Law Medical Law & Ethics program would  have the credentials to open career doors and enter a health care market where patients are actively seeking high end paraprofessional  patient advocates.

How Can Professional Career Launcher Help You

Interested in a career that combines law and health? If so, sign up with us and we will be happy to assist you. The Professional Career Launcher knows where the opportunities markets are for LLM and MA Law degree holders. An LLM and a MA Law are recognized internationally as a specialist designation of law niches and law related professional services. We will help you identify a career and utilize your knowledge base to find a pathway into a career.