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Dr. Michael Barry of MGH is New President of Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
Date:8/26/2009

hysicians found that, despite their stated belief in shared decision-making, most do not yet practice it and cite time and money as barriers. Another study of 3,000 patients found that most do not receive sufficient information from physicians to make decisions that take their lifestyle, preferences and values into account.

In 1989, Barry and Fowler were part of the group of researchers and physicians that developed the evidence that led the co-founders, John E. Wennberg, MD, of Dartmouth Medical School, and Albert G. Mulley, MD, of MGH, to create the Foundation. In fact, the four decided together that increasing patient involvement in medical decisions was the best way to address a disturbing pattern in American medicine -- unwarranted and unpredictable variations in the way physicians treated the same diseases in different parts of the country.

For the first 15 years, the Foundation focused entirely on developing decision support tools that synthesized the evidence and explained treatment choices with clinical experts and real patients who had experienced the condition. Since 1997, the Foundation has partnered with Health Dialog to develop a broad-scale distribution model using health coaches and developed an extensive research agenda to learn how best to support patients making medical decisions. During Fowler's presidency, the Foundation expanded its mission to include funding clinical demonstration sites, to learn how best to integrate patient decision aids into everyday medical practice. It also greatly expanded its outreach efforts to spread a more general appreciation of how little patients are involved in decisions about their health care and why patients would be better served if they were routinely informed and involved.

Barry, who is board certified in internal medicine, received his MD at the University of Connecticut School Of Medicine and did his residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Roche
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SOURCE Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
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