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From the JAMA Network
September 15, 2015

Negotiating the Tensions in Patient-Centered Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center, Department of Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Center for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Department of Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 5Division of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2015;314(11):1167-1168. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10112

Physicians often shy away from conversations with patients regarding poor prognoses. Even when physicians do give patients specific prognoses, they may convey overly optimistic information.1 Giving patients potentially misleading information violates cultural norms and ethical standards. Physicians often believe that they should always strive to have transparent and highly realistic communication with their patients. Is this, however, truly what patients want? And if so, do the incentives inherent in the US health care system support transparent patient-physician communication?

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