Editor’s note: Care for Your Mind—in partnership with the National Network of Depression Centers and other organizations—has been seeking answers to the question: what’s keeping people from getting the mental health care they need? Shared decision making (SDM) is one piece of the puzzle, through which healthcare providers work with patients to understand their individual needs, preferences, and values. Then, patients and providers discuss different options and make care decisions together. It’s a common sense, personalized approach to care. Dr. John Williams introduces our series on SDM. Join the conversation!
John W. Williams Jr., MD Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Duke University
As a patient, would you want your physician making healthcare decisions on your behalf without any regard for your personal preferences, values, or needs? If you’re like most people, you’d prefer to be involved in choosing the care that’s right for you. After all, it’s your body, your mind, your financial resources, and your life.
Shared decision making, or SDM, is a process through which you and your doctor make decisions together, as partners. It’s a common sense concept: you discuss the things that matter to you, your doctor provides information, and then works with you to choose the best treatment for you.