I am a Patient / Carer
Choosing Wisely was created in part to challenge the idea that more is better or in the case of medical intervention: just because we can, doesn’t always mean we should. We think it’s a good idea for you to ask your doctors the following questions before any test, treatment or procedure:
- Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?
- What are the risks or downsides?
- What are the possible side effects?
- Are there simpler, safer options?
- What will happen if I do nothing?
In the medical world this is referred to as shared decision making but, it essentially means having a good conversation, which draws on your doctor’s clinical expertise and your own experiences to result in the best possible treatment and outcome for you.
When you have a meeting with a GP, clinic or hospital you can reasonably expect your doctor to:
- Provide you with a diagnosis or refer you to a specialist who can
- Tell you about the cause or origin of the problem, although this may not always be possible
- Tell you about the likely course of your condition
- Talk you through your treatment options
- Describe what is likely to happen if you take the treatment that’s proposed
In the same consultation you should try to:
- Describe your experience of your illness or symptoms
- Explain any social circumstances that might be relevant to your illness or symptoms
- Talk about your attitude to risk
- Describe your goals and preferences and what you want out of the treatment
- Articulate any other support you may need to help you to get better