MDs don’t provide patients enough information to make good decisions
The December 22/29, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that primary-care doctors seldom provide patients with enough information to make an informed choice about their treatment.
In reviewing recordings of 1,057 doctor-patient discussions concerning 3552 health care decisions, the researchers found that doctors provided enough information for the patient to make a completely informed choice in only 9% of the cases.
In other words, in 91% of the doctor-patient encounters, some information that would have allowed a patient to make a better decision was left out of the discussion.
Even worse, the researchers report that “primary care physicians frequently made decisions without discussing the intervention with the patient or seeking their involvement.”
They go on to conclude that “these findings suggest that the ethical model of informed decision-making is not routinely applied in office practice.”
By way of commentary, your doctor, any doctor, has a responsibility to make sure that you understand all of the ramifications of the decisions you make regarding your health care. Your responsibility is to make sure that you ask questions about anything you do not understand. You must completely understand any health problem you are facing, including any alternative approaches, and their pros and cons.
Your health is your responsibility. Don’t make any health care decisions without knowing all the facts. Get 5th opinions, check the internet, visit your library but know as much about any problems as possible. No one has more interest in your health than you.