Medicine is not “one size fits all” and medicine involves making decisions- many of them. Traditionally, patients have relied on their health care providers thinking that “the doctor knows best” in the areas of medicine, treatments, procedures, surgery and hospitalizations. However, some of the most important and potentially life altering healthcare decisions are not the clinicians’ alone to make. Many believe that with shared medical decision making- when the provider brings evidenced based medical expertise and the patient brings their preferences and values, benefits soar such as: a focus on prevention, an increased ability to manage chronic conditions, increased patient satisfaction and decreased costs. Examples of common healthcare decisions include: elder care, end of life decisions, management of chronic back pain, charting a cancer treatment course, elective surgery and maternity care.
Health literacy also is a component of making better healthcare decisions as many providers overestimate the health literacy of their patients. Patient may lack the fundamental tools to understand what is happening in their bodies and what to do about it. They may not have been brought into the decision making by their provider, know how to work within the medical system, understand the right questions to ask or believe they have power to help heal themselves.
In this segment, Dr. Joseph Pinzone, a double board-certified physician who specializes in endocrinology and the provision of care through the concierge model, has written a new book titled, “Fireballs in My Eucharist” (which was a patient’s description of fibroids in her uterus!). He will discuss the book and how patients can get educated, obtain tools to help in their decision making and help better heal themselves and be an active participant in their healthcare. Listeners can visit www.medamai.com and www.informedmedicaldecisions.org for more information.
Dr. Joseph Pinzone
- MD training at NYU in New York
- Double Board-Certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology
- Private practice in Santa Monica, CA
- Author of the new book, “Fireballs in My Eucharist”