Most doctors are good doctors in the eyes of most patients. Despite the media's fixation with medical errors and damaged patients, doctors come high in popularity stakes in almost any poll, compared with other professions or trades. Furthermore, familiarity tends to breed contentment, not contempt. Patients who have recent experience of medical care tend to give higher, less critical ratings than patients who experience is less current. The medical profession does, however, attract criticism from patients -- sometimes deservedly so.
This discussion paper argues for the increased use of shared decision making practices, citing that patients want to be involved in evidence and decisions, that there is a gap between this and what patients get, and that patient satisfaction is linked to shared decision making. These conclusions were reached through research in three stages: environmental scan, qualitative interviews and focus groups, and quantitative survey.