GOOD MEDICAL CARE DOES NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT
Good medical care does not happen by accident. It is a collaboration between the doctor and the patient. (More content)
Shared decision making is our focus in providing what we consider excellent care for our patients. We like our patients to be informed and educated as to their treatment options.
People have different attitudes, cultural backgrounds, fears, expectations, family histories, ages, and other factors, which influences their perception of their own disease, health, vigor, and desires. We only can find out about these factors by having frank discussions with our patients so we can discover what best suits the patient. There are only a few situations in which there is very little choice in how to proceed with a particular problem. Given a certain situation where an intervention needs to be made such as surgery or laser, factors outside of what are generally considered reasons for making a decision come into play. For instance, a patient may have glaucoma, which is threatening their vision and surgery might be a way of stopping it. If that particular patient has a close relative who experienced blindness from glaucoma, they are much more likely to choose a more aggressive option than in another patient where this is not the case. These factors are only discovered by conversation with the patient, and the patient needs to know it is really okay to express their fears, expectations, and desires.
What this takes from the doctors is willingness to listen and watch the patient’s reaction to the different choices. We do not like our patients to feel as if they are pressured into any decision, and we respect the patient’s rights to decline an intervention, as long as they know the consequence of their decision. We want our patients to be able to feel free to make their own choices without being judged.
Lawrence M. Hurvitz, M.D.