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Making Critical Medical Decisions

  • Broadcast in Health
Powerful Patient

Powerful Patient


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Illness and disease often force people to face incredibly complex and emotional choices.  It is natural for patients to value and rely on their doctors' advice in such frightening situations.  Even so, the jargon that doctors use and the many treatment options available for patients can be overwhelming and confusing.  

Dr. Peter Ubel, a physician, behavioral scientist and bioethicist at Duke University, presents a ground-breaking argument that will redefine the doctor-patient relationship.

Examining medical cases including his own wife's diagnosis of breast cancer, Ubel identifies the need for true collaboration between doctors and patients calling for a "shared decision-making movement."  According to Dr. Ubel, it's not just about educating and motivating patients, it is also about preparing physicians to interact with informed patients.  Ubel supports a system-wide shift beginning with reconsidering who is admitted to medical schools and the curricula at those medical schools. He advocates retraining doctors about patient psychology, communication and behavior.  

In his book, CRITICAL DECISIONS: HOW YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR CAN MAKE THE RIGHT MEDICAL CHOICES TOGETHER, he underscores the startling link between doctors' poor communication skills and the incidence of malpractice litigation.  

Whether diagnosed with cancer, trying to understand the side effects of medication, or caring for a loved one, we all confront the medical establishment at some point in our lives.  Dr. Ubel proposes some very strong tools to help us make confident decisions about our health and well-being.

Other books by Dr. Peter Ubel: PRICING LIFE; YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK; and FREE MARKET MADNESS: Why Human Nature is at Odds with Economics -- and Why it Matters.