Your Health, Your Decisions

How to Work with Your Doctor to Become a Knowledge-Powered Patient

By Robert Alan McNutt

164 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 5 figs., 3 tables, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8358-4
    Published: March 2024
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2918-6
    Published: September 2016
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4748-5
    Published: September 2016

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In nearly every medical-decision-making encounter, the physician is at the center of the discussion, with the patient the recipient of the physician’s decisions. Dr. Robert Alan McNutt starts from a very different premise: the patient should be at the center. McNutt challenges the physician-directed, medical-expertise model of making decisions, presenting a practical approach augmented by formal exercises designed to give patients the tools and confidence to compare and contrast their health-care options so they can make their own choices. He addresses a number of scenarios, including heart disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer—conditions that pose a range of choices that patients may face about diagnoses and treatments.

After providing a clear explanation of what is the highest quality medical-decision-making information, McNutt teaches patients to use that information to weigh the harms and benefits of their treatment options, empowering them to ask critical questions as they take a stronger hand in their own care. Your Health, Your Decisions moves from specific scenarios that commonly baffle patients to a systematic exploration of how to make medical decisions. By offering patients the tools they need to be full partners in their own health care, McNutt demystifies what can be a bewildering and even terrifying process.

About the Author

Robert McNutt, M.D., is a clinician, researcher, teacher, decision analyst, former medical editor, and, now, a decision-making consultant. He is the president and CEO of YouChooseMedical, LLC.
For more information about Robert Alan McNutt, visit the Author Page.


“An extraordinarily powerful tool for patients, but it is equally powerful for medical educators to help their students keep the patient perspective in the forefront during their learning process. 5 Stars!”--Doody’s Book Reviews

"With McNutt's cooperative problem-solving insight, patients will feel like partners rather than pawns in the health-care system."--Foreword Reviews

“Assist[s] patients with making informed, knowledgeable health care treatment choices. . . . A valuable supplemental text for advanced nursing students, physician assistant students, and medical students. Recommended.”--CHOICE

"This excellent book explains medical decisions--often life and death--in powerful but personal ways. Your Health, Your Decisions is both very engaging and necessary.”--Ross Koppel, coeditor of First, Do Less Harm: Confronting the Inconvenient Problems of Patient Safety

“With examples based in clinical trials citing recent, sound research, this book will help patients understand the major principles of decision making in a practical and clear way.”--Alan Schwartz, the Michael Reese Endowed Professor of Medical Education and Research Professor of Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago