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:

  1. What are the         Benefits?
  2. What are the         Risks?
  3. What are the         Alternatives?
  4. What 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:

  1. Provide you with a diagnosis or refer you to a specialist who can
  2. Tell you about the cause or origin of the problem, although this may not always be possible
  3. Tell you about the likely course of your condition
  4. Talk you through your treatment options
  5. Describe what is likely to happen if you take the treatment that’s proposed


In the same consultation you should try to:

  1. Describe your experience of your illness or symptoms
  2. Explain any social circumstances that might be relevant to your illness or symptoms
  3. Talk about your attitude to risk
  4. Describe your goals and preferences and what you want out of the treatment
  5. Articulate any other support you may need to help you to get better