Crystal Zhao

Principal supervisor

Professor Clare Delany (Department of Medical Education)

Associate supervisor

Professor Marilys Guillemin (Melbourne School of Population and Global Health)

Project title

“It’s my health, it’s my choice, and I know best!” How general practitioners (GPs) make decisions when a patient wants tests or treatments that the GPs perceive as medically unnecessary.

Abstract / overview of project

In modern clinical practice, patients are increasingly presenting to their GP with an already-formed view of what they feel they need but which the GP feels are unnecessary (e.g. antibiotics for viral infections). There is theoretical literature on what GPs ought to do in these situations but little empirical research on how GPs actually make ethical decisions in clinical reality. My study used semi-structured individual and focus group interviews to explore how GPs responded to these patient requests. By offering an insight into how GPs negotiate ethical decisions in clinical reality, study findings can add to our current understanding of how these decisions are deliberated ‘on the ground’.