Ask the Allergist: The Value of Shared Decision Making



Q: How can doctors and patients facilitate a shared dialogue and decision-making process to determine the best treatment plan?

Don Bukstein, MD: There’s a famous patient statement that says, ‘Nothing for me without me.’ What I think that means is that patients don’t want doctors or other health professionals to make decisions about their care without an interaction.

We call it Shared Decision Making – where your physician, allergist, nurse or healthcare professional discusses with you the pros and cons of a specific test or treatment, and then you come together to decide what is best for you. Doctors are the experts in allergic disease and you’re the expert in what you need, what you want and what’s best for you.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) and Allergy & Asthma Network have created some excellent Shared Decision Making Tools that physicians can use to better explain treatment options for asthma, allergies and atopic dermatitis to patients.

These Shared Decision Making Tools can be used on an ongoing basis to better explain and help you understand what your options are, and then you and your physician can decide which option is best for you.


Don Bukstein, MD, FACAAI, is a board-certified allergist/immunologist and pediatric pulmonologist with Allergy Asthma Sinus Center in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. He is Director of Allergy and Asthma Research at Dean Medical Center in Madison and a Fellow with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).


Have a medical question? Email editor@allergyasthmanetwork.org or write to Ask the Allergist, Allergy & Asthma Network, 8229 Boone Blvd., Suite 260, Vienna, VA 22182.

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