Get Involved

The term "patient advisor" can mean many different things to many different people. At CERTAIN, we define a patient advisor as someone with experience as a patient or caregiver who partners with researchers to provide the patient perspective to inform and improve research being done.


Learn more about how our patient advisors partner with us below, or check out current opportunities for partnership in the sidebar of this page.

Why Get Involved?

Patients are experts in the experience of living with a condition or disease. Through this experience, patients and their family members and caregivers can help make research better by telling researchers what questions they have about their health, what is important for them to consider when making decisions about their treatment, and what the best ways are to give them the information that they need. 

How do patients partner with CERTAIN through the Patient Advisory Network?

  • Advisory group membership: Advisory group members work in partnership with researchers to decide what research questions are important and what factors are important for patients to consider when making decisions about what healthcare treatment to choose. They also provide input on research study development and findings as well as how to best communicate results of research to patients in a way that is useful for them.

  • Research partners: As research partners, patients provide experience and expertise on living with the condition being studied. They are an equal part of the research team and work with researchers throughout the research study process, from choosing research questions to communicating results.

  • Research and materials reviewers: These partners review research materials, including patient handouts and forms, patient surveys, and research reports aimed at patients for readability and usefulness.

  • Patient representatives: Represent the patient perspective at other CERTAIN stakeholder events, such as the Spine Care Forum or Research Advisory Group meetings. This could include formal presentations.

What are the qualities of a patient advisor?

Patient advisors: 

  • Share insights and experiences in productive ways
  • See beyond their own personal experiences
  • Respect diversity and differing opinions
  • Are good listeners
  • Collaborate on solutions
  • Are passionate about enhancing the healthcare experience

Current Opportunities

We are currently looking for patient advisor partners with experience and/or interest in the following areas:

  • Appendicitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Spine issues, particularly chronic back pain

Contact us if you are interested in learning more, and check out our blog for more information on projects and initiatives in which you can get involved.