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Med Educ Online. 2008 Jul 10;13:10. doi: 10.3885/meo.2008.Res00276.

Evaluating attitudes of first-year residents to shared decision making.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Davis, Davis, California USA.



Shared decision making (SDM) is recognized as an ideal model of patient-physician interaction, yet clinical application occurs infrequently. The current study evaluated attitudes of first-year residents to identify potential barriers and opportunities regarding SDM.


A total of 70 residents attending orientation at the University of Utah completed a questionnaire that elicited their understanding of SDM, perceptions about the importance of SDM, confidence in utilizing SDM, and reasons for lacking confidence.


Most residents reported no prior SDM education (N = 42, 60%) or training (N = 46, 66%), yet 67 (96%) of them could recognize it in a clinical vignette. Using a Likert scale, the majority of residents (91% to 99%) attributed importance to SDM principles, and most (79% to 90%) indicated confidence in applying them. Lack of training was reported as a barrier by 40 (57%) residents.


A minority of residents reported formal education or training in SDM, yet the vast majority recognized and valued the model. A large percentage of residents expressed confidence in their abilities to incorporate SDM into patient care, but many also identified a need for more education and training.


Communication; Decision Making; Education; Internship; Internship and Residency; Interviews/methods; Medical Residency; Patient Participation/methods; Patient Participation/psychology; Physician's Role/psychology; Physician-Patient Relations; Physicians; Training

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