An evaluation of patients’ response to care shows there are limitations to recovery when the patient feels helpless to control their environment and/or their disease. One of the best healthcare tools we, as physicians, can offer patients is the opportunity to make decisions regarding their best care options. One way to do this would by engaging multidisciplinary teams in primary care.
Health care teams — including the patient and family — provide the additional information and shared decision making that many primary care models lack. As important as a multidisciplinary team is recognizing and diagnosing the immediate physical concerns, highly-prevalent mental and emotional risk factors like depression and anxiety can be mitigated by effective education measures utilizing a team of specialists.
Health specialists who focus on prevention can play a significant role in helping patients manage lifestyle factors post-diagnosis, and can be a resource for mental and spiritual health. Multidisciplinary teams ideally bring together the personal and the medical in primary care.