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A process of open communication. The physician offers the patient personalized information about treatment options and their associated risks and benefits. The patient then communicates to the physician his or her values, preferences and concerns regarding these variables. The goal is to arrive at a joint decision regarding the best nonemergency surgical procedure.

Both parties benefit. Physicians are better able to manage patient expectations and develop higher patient trust. Patients are better informed, more likely to comply with the treatment plan and more likely to be satisfied with their outcome.

This guide will walk the physician and the patient through a discussion about surgery options once the decision to have surgery has been made. The guide outlines questions and points for the physician to discuss with the patient and provides information for the patient to review at home.

When the physician and the patient use this guide together they will make A Mutually Acceptable Decision.