How making an elevator pitch might help explain hemophilia

Being quick, direct, and attention-grabbing may get you the help you seek

Jennifer Lynne avatar

by Jennifer Lynne |

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In the marketing world, we have a concept called the elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a short, persuasive speech delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator, hence the name. The goal of an elevator pitch is to quickly and effectively communicate a person’s ideas, product, or service to a potential customer, investor, or employer in an interesting and memorable way. It should grab listeners’ attention and create enough interest for them to want to hear more or take some action.

I started thinking about elevator pitches and how the concept might be helpful for a person with a bleeding disorder or other chronic illness. An elevator pitch could help them communicate effectively with their doctors, especially when they have limited time during a medical appointment.

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How to Help Your Doctor Take Hemophilia Seriously

The medical elevator pitch

For example, here’s an elevator pitch to explain my bleeding disorders to medical professionals who may know little about hematology:

My name is Jennifer, and I’m 57 years old. I was diagnosed with von Willebrand disease and hemophilia B when I was 10. These conditions cause me to bleed longer than usual. A hematologist follows me at a federally funded hemophilia treatment center, and they should be consulted should I need any surgical or medical procedure. I have a letter from my hematologist for your records.

Here are some ideas to get you started in crafting your medical elevator pitch:

1. Clearly state the reason for the appointment, such as a specific symptom or concern.

I have heavy menstrual bleeding and frequent nosebleeds. I hemorrhaged when my tonsils were removed. Because of this, I’m concerned I may have a bleeding disorder. Plus, my cousin has von Willebrand disease, and I think I may have it, too.

2. Briefly explain the history of the issue and how it’s affected your daily life.

I’m tired and frequently anemic. I cannot make it through a class period without needing to use the bathroom.

3. Highlight any treatments you’ve tried, including over-the-counter medications, lifestyle changes, or other therapies.

I have tried birth control pills, but unfortunately, they didn’t help.

4. Communicate your current health status, including any relevant test results or diagnostic images.

My gynecologist has ruled out any underlying issues as a cause of my bleeding. I don’t have polyps or fibroids.

5. Clearly express your goals for the appointment, such as seeking a diagnosis, getting a second opinion, or discussing treatment options.

I’m looking for a possible diagnosis and any treatment you may be able to offer.

6. Ask the doctor’s opinion and any questions you have and express your commitment to following their recommendations and working together toward improved health outcomes.

I value your opinion and look forward to working with you to figure this out. 

Be concise, clear, and respectful while communicating with your doctor, and prioritize the most important information to ensure a productive and efficient discussion.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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