Shared decision making

The trend of the last two decades toward patient-centered (or family-centered) medicine is unmistakable and and a very good thing. Unfortunately, it is often discussed in the abstract, which obscured the fact that no two patients are identical in their needs or desires. Kevin Pho’s recent discussion gets it right: 

There is a spectrum of how much physician involvement patients want. Some may want physicians only to suggest and inform but leave the ultimate decision to them. Others prefer doctors to have the final say. The only way to know a patient’s preference is through a continuous relationship where that comfort level can be developed over time.  

The entire post is well worth reading.



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