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Understanding Choice:  Why Physicians Should Learn Prospect Theory

Amol A. Verma, MD, MPhil1; Fahad Razak, MD, MSc1,2,3; Allan S. Detsky, MD, PhD1,4,5,6
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto
3Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Boston, Massachusetts
4Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
5Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
6University Health Network, Toronto
JAMA. 2014;311(6):571-572. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285245.
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Patients and their physicians work collaboratively to make medical decisions. Typically, they review a number of options and ultimately settle on a preferred choice. In some cases the choice is clear, such as applying a cast for a fractured radius. However, in many clinical situations, several options are reasonable. In such cases, patients may consult with health care professionals, family members, and friends to help guide their decisions. Medical training has traditionally emphasized pathophysiology, clinical evidence, and communication skills to prepare physicians for the numerous decisions they will help patients make.


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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