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January 2010

Informing Patient Choice and Consent: What Patients Really Want and Need to Know

Arch Ophthalmol. 2010;128(1):129-130. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.335

Patients may not be aware of all they need to know to make informed decisions about their care. Treatments have risks and alternatives that vary by patient, procedure, treatment, and, of immediate interest, by physician. While this may seem axiomatic, physician-specific data are frequently omitted, though federal regulations are clear that this information is relevant, and encourage disclosure.1 Patients may choose their physician but not the residents who are generally assigned to cases based on teaching and training needs. Is it relevant for patients to know that their surgeons are in training? Of course.