Shared decision making is becoming more important for some patients. Baby boomers (adults who were born between 1946 and 1964) are a big part of this change. They like to know what to expect ahead of time. They want to be part of the process from start to end. They want to make informed decisions for themselves.
Studies show that patients actually do better in the long-run if there's good patient-physician communication. They may not get the results the surgeon expected but they are more satisfied when they know what to expect.
Doctors are paying more attention to what patients want, too. They realize that the patient's goals may not be the same as their own. Giving patients what they want and need is part of the new consumer-based approach to health care.