Thinking about having a conversation with any healthcare provider can be quite overwhelming. This is particularly the case when you know you are going to be discussing your health and how it is impacting your life. Talking about ourselves can be hard at the best of times, let alone when we are trying to get across personal information in a short amount of time.

That’s why shared decision making is so important. Shared decision making means you will be able to choose the treatment and care that is based not only on what medical evidence says is best, but also takes into account:

The benefit of shared decision making is that it can help you to understand the risks, benefits, and possible consequences of all the different options available to you. This is made possible through having clear conversations and sharing information. The best decisions are made when you have all the relevant information at hand.

Remember, you are an expert in you. No one else has a full understanding of your personal circumstances or the impact your health issues are having on you. It can be scary to ‘challenge’ a doctor or disagree with what they are saying to you. Remember, only you know whether the type of treatment a doctor is suggesting will be the one that works for you in your everyday life. It’s OK to disagree with what they recommend, and it’s also OK to ask for other options.

If you feel anxious or worried about talking to your doctor, you might want to read our resource on ‘Talking to my Doctor’. It has lots of suggestions on how to make this conversation feel easier and tips to help you remain in control.