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Medical Decision Making
A Physician's Guide


  • Date Published: May 2008
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521697699

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About the Authors
  • Decision making is a key activity, perhaps the most important activity, in the practice of healthcare. Although physicians acquire a great deal of knowledge and specialised skills during their training and through their practice, it is in the exercise of clinical judgement and its application to individual patients that the outstanding physician is distinguished. This has become even more relevant as patients become increasingly welcomed as partners in a shared decision making process. This book translates the research and theory from the science of decision making into clinically useful tools and principles that can be applied by clinicians in the field. It considers issues of patient goals, uncertainty, judgement, choice, development of new information, and family and social concerns in healthcare. It helps to demystify decision theory by emphasizing concepts and clinical cases over mathematics and computation.

    • A practical guide to developing sound clinical judgement
    • Explains decision theory with a focus on relevant clinical concepts rather than mathematics
    • Illustrated with case studies and includes end of chapter reflection questions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'As medical educators, the authors hope to bridge the gap between decision scientist and community physician. They implement clinical examples to present a version of decision making theory that many readers will find refreshing and helpful. … This book has the potential for teaching practising physicians to make good decisions and to make decisions well.' Robert M. Hamm, Doody's Notes

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521697699
    • length: 232 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 22 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Goals and objectives
    2. Components of health
    3. The overall health state
    4. Quality and quantity
    5. Embracing uncertainty
    6. Chance and choice
    7. Confidence
    8. Visualizing decisions
    9. The power of information
    10. Screening and testing
    11. Family matters
    12. Public health
    13. Social values

  • Authors

    Alan Schwartz, University of Illinois, Chicago
    Alan Schwartz, PhD, is a decision psychologist in the Departments of Medical Education and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches decision making, leadership, and quantitative methods. His research focuses on both patient and physician decision making, including evidence-based medicine, risk perception, and the impact of life goals on utility assessment. He has received the Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator Award from the Society for Medical Decision Making, the Ray E. Helfer Award for Innovation in Pediatric Education from the Ambulatory Pediatrics Association, and the Junior Faculty Research Award from the Midwest Society for General Internal Medicine. Dr Schwartz serves on the Board of Trustees of the Society for Medical Decision Making, and coordinates the Society's 'Teaching Medical Decision Making' interest group. He also serves on the Executive Board of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. He has taught leadership and decision making in Brazil and Pakistan, as well as on-line to students throughout the world, and twice received his University's peer-reviewed teaching award.

    George Bergus, University of Iowa
    George Bergus is Professor and Associate Head for Education at the Department of Family Medicine, University of Iowa.

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