Physicians recommend treatments with higher survival rates for their patients, but they make more mental mistakes when they are the patient and have to choose for themselves.
Psychologists know that when people make decisions for others, they are dispassionate enough to be less swayed by extraneous factors. Even toddlers make less impulsive decisions for others than they do for themselves.
Researchers surveyed general internists and family medicine specialists about two scenarios, each with two treatment alternatives. Both outcomes involved a choice between surviving a fatal illness but with sometimes crippling outcomes. Physicians were randomized to groups in which they imagined themselves as the patient facing the decision, or in which they were recommending an option to a patient. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*