How to understand medical decisions

For each recommended decision, what are (or were) the other options?

The doctor's answer should list what other options were considered (i.e. those that were discarded in favour of the recommended action). For example, if a patient had been newly dicovered to have diabetes, a decision would have to be made to start the patient on a diet alone or to to combine it with medication.  The decision would depend on the severity of the diabetes and the rate of progression.  The options might thus be:


Diet alone


Diet with metformin


Diet with a sulphonylurea


Diet with insulin


Ideally the choice should depend on direct experience of a randomised control trial conducted on patients with a similar age, gender, symptoms, examination findings and test results to the patient on whom the decision is to be made.


© Huw Llewelyn 2016