Medical Decision Conference

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The 37th Annual Conference of the Society of Medical Decision Making took place right under the famous Gateway Arch of St. Louis, in the state of Missouri.

The conference is unique in the sense that it is a blend of diverse professionals (health scientists, medical doctors, pharmaceutical researchers), with common interest in research topics of doctor-patient interaction, applied health economics, patient preference assessment, and health policy application.
I presented a working paper, which compared decision making practices of women during pregnancy and childbirth. The paper compared decision approaches by patients in Russia and in the U.S. It reflected on the fact that there is a large discrepancy in the decision-making practices in these two countries, driven by medical tradition, hospital organization structure, but not by the patients themselves: both in Russia and U.S. patients feel less post-decisional regret if they have an opportunity to actively participate in medical decision with their doctor, instead of just passively following doctor’s recommendations. Only in Russia such an opportunity was reported by 10% of patients, while in the U.S. this number was as high as 25%.
It was my first visit to the conference, and I was truly swept away with an array of great presentations, interactive discussions and insightful conversations with clinicians and academics. I highly recommend it to everyone who feels passionate about improving healthcare practices around the world.