[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 12, 2014

Understanding Choice: Why Physicians Should Learn Prospect Theory

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

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;311(6):571-572. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285245

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.