Health Advocate


Gynecologic Oncologists must recognize the importance of advocacy activities in responding to the challenges represented by those social, environmental, and biological factors that determine the health of patients and society. Health advocacy is an essential and fundamental component of health promotion that occurs at the level of the individual patient, the practice population, and the broader community. Health advocacy is appropriately expressed both by the individual and collective responses of obstetricians and gynecologists in influencing public health and policy.

5.1 General Objectives

The fully-trained gynecologic oncologist will:

  • identify the important determinants of health affecting patients
  • contribute effectively to improved health of patients and communities
  • recognize and respond to those issues where advocacy is appropriate

5.2  Specific Objectives

In order to achieve these objectives as an advocate, the fellow should be able to:

  1. identify the important determinants of health for an individual patient, highlight which determinants are modifiable, and adapt the treatment approach accordingly
  2. make clinical decisions for an individual patient, when necessary balancing her needs against the needs of the general population and against the available resources
  3. facilitate medical care for patients even when that care is not provided personally or locally or when that care is not readily accessible (e.g., therapeutic abortion)
  4. advise patients about the local and regional resources available for support, education and rehabilitation
  5. provide direction to hospital administration regarding compliance with national clinical and surgical practice guidelines
  6. discuss the important function and role of various professional organizations, including the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Gynecologic Oncologists of Canada (GOC) in the support of Gynecologic Oncologists in this country and in the provision and maintenance of optimal health care for Canadian women