When I met a new patient with diabetes I had to choose the right treatment. She expressed her preference for an oral medication over insulin injections when discussing the options. This was despite the fact the latter may be less effective at controlling blood sugar. After further discussion we were able to come up with a plan that incorporated both of our preferences – she agreed to take a combination of both medications which could potentially provide better control than either one alone.
In this situation, incorporating the patient’s preferences and values was critical for developing a successful treatment plan. It is possible that if I ignored my patient’s feelings regarding insulin, as is common in medical settings, I could have damaged her trust and caused more resistance to the prescribed therapy. In a bid to gain a deeper understanding, and to find a suitable compromise for them, I took into consideration what they valued most and found attainable solutions. This helped us to reach broader agreement and increase the likelihood of positive outcomes.