This case arises out of a medical malpractice action that plaintiffs, Robert E. King and his wife, Jo Ann O’Neal, brought against defendants, Michael S. Bryant, M.D., and Village Surgical Associates, P.A. According to the allegations contained in plaintiffs’ complaint, Mr. King was scheduled to undergo a bilateral inguinal hernia repair to be performed by Dr. Bryant at the Fayetteville Ambulatory Surgery Center on 14 May 2009. At the time of his initial appointment with Dr. Bryant, Mr. King was presented with an Agreement to Alternative Dispute Resolution (arbitration agreement) that defendants routinely presented to new patients along with other documents prior to the first occasion on which a patient met with a physician. The arbitration agreement provided that:
In accordance with the terms of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 USC 1-16,1 agree that any dispute arising out of or related to the provision of healthcare services by me, by Village Surgical Associates, PA, or its employees, physician members, and agents shall be subject to final and binding resolution through private arbitration.
The parties to this Agreement shall agree upon three Arbitrators and at least one arbitrator of the three shall be a physician licensed to practice medicine and shall be board certified in the same specialty as the physician party. The remaining Arbitrators either shall be licensed to practice law in NC or licensed to practice medicine in NC. The parties shall agree upon all rules that shall govern the arbitration, but may be guided by the Health Care Claim Settlement Procedures of the American Arbitration Association, a copy of which is available to me upon request. I understand that this agreement includes all health care [sic] services which previously have been or will in the future be provided to me, and that this *453agreement is not restricted to those health care [sic] services rendered in connection with any particular treatment, office or hospital admission. I understand that this agreement is also binding on any individual or entity and not a precondition to receiving health care [sic] services.
Mr. King, a witness, and Dr. Bryant each signed the arbitration agreement on 29 April 2009.
According to the unchallenged findings of fact, a front desk employee at Village Surgical Associates provided Mr. King with several intake forms to complete and sign while he waited to meet Dr. Bryant. The initial intake forms asked Mr. King to provide personal and medical history information and to sign the signature lines on all of the forms, including the arbitration agreement. Mr. King stated in his affidavit that he was then provided with a second set of documents, which addressed insurance and payment-related issues, after he had met with Dr. Bryant. Mr. King acknowledged that he did not read any of the documents that he signed after his initial meeting with Dr. Bryant and stated that he had believed them to be “just a formality.” Mr. King denied having received a copy of the arbitration agreement on the day that it was signed and asserted that the contents of the agreement were not clear to him even after he had read it. Mr. King contended that, “[i]f the agreement had been brought to my attention and I had been told signing it was optional, I would not have signed it.”1
In the course of the performance of the hernia repair procedure, Dr. Bryant injured Mr. King’s distal abdominal aorta, resulting in abdominal bleeding. Although Dr. Bryant was able to repair Mr. King’s injury, the necessary remedial procedures led to occlusion of an artery, a thrombo-embolism to Mr. King’s right lower leg, and acute ischemia in Mr. King’s right foot. After undergoing the performance of an immediate revascu-larization at Cape Fear Valley Health Systems for the purpose of salvaging his right leg, Mr. King remained hospitalized until 26 May 2009. At the time of his discharge, Mr. King continued to suffer from complications related to his abdominal aortic injury and needed additional treatment. As a result of the injury that he sustained during the hernia repair procedure, Mr. King incurred unexpected medical expenses, abdominal scarring, lost wages, numbness, and a limited ability to use his right leg and foot.
*454On 28 September 2011, plaintiffs filed a complaint against defendants in the Superior Court, Cumberland County, seeking damages for medical malpractice. On 7 November 2011, defendants filed a motion seeking to have further litigation in this action stayed and the arbitration agreement that had been entered into between Mr. King and defendants enforced and an answer in which defendants denied the material allegations of plaintiffs’ complaint. Plaintiffs responded to defendants’ motion to stay and enforce the arbitration agreement by arguing that:
[T]he purported agreement is not enforceable for reasons that include but are not limited to the undue, prohibitive financial burden that enforcement of the agreement would have on plaintiffs by requiring the hiring of three arbitrators, one who must be a board certified physician in the same specialty as the defendant, Michael S. Bryant, M.D., and two who must be attorneys or physicians licensed in North Carolina; the inherent unfairness of requiring one arbitrator be a member of the same profession and medical specialty as the defendant,... especially in light of the absence of any comparable requirement for an arbitrator to be similarly affiliated with the plaintiffs ....
On 13 February 2012, defendants filed a motion seeking the entry of an order compelling arbitration. On 23 March 2012, the trial court entered an order denying defendants’ motion to enforce the arbitration agreement on the basis of conclusions that:
4. The Agreement to Alternative Dispute Resolution leaves material portions open to future agreements by providing, inter alia, that the parties shall agree upon three arbitrators and that the parties shall agree upon all rules that shall govern the arbitration.
5. At most, the Agreement to Alternative Dispute Resolution is an “agreement to agree” that is indefinite and depends on one or more future agreements. Seawell v. Continental Cas. Co., 84 N.C. App. 277, 281, 352 S.E.2d 263, 265 (1987).
6. The Agreement to Alternative Dispute Resolution is not a binding contract and is not enforceable.
Defendants noted an appeal to the Court of Appeals from the trial court’s order.
*455On 5 February 2013, the Court of Appeals filed an opinion reversing the March 2012 order and remanding this case for further proceedings, King v. Bryant, 225 N.C. App. 340, 737 S.E.2d 802 (2013) (King I), on the grounds “that the trial court erred in concluding the Agreement between the parties was too indefinite to be enforced,” id. at 345, 737 S.E.2d at 807. According to the Court of Appeals, “there was clearly an offer to arbitrate any dispute which arose out of Defendants’ provision of medical care, as well as an acceptance of that offer by Mr. King.” Id. at 346, 737 S.E.2d at 807. Although plaintiffs had argued before the trial court and the Court of Appeals that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable on unconscionability grounds, the Court of Appeals declined to address that issue given that the trial judge in the March 2012 order had not made the necessary factual findings. Id. at 347, 737 S.E.2d at 808. According to the Court of Appeals, “the trial court is the appropriate body to determine whether the agreement is unconscionable,” id. at 347-48, 737 S.E.2d at 808 (citation omitted), with the needed unconscionability analysis to “be undertaken with an understanding of the unique nature of the physician/patient relationship,” id. at 348, 737 S.E.2d at 808. In addition, the Corn! of Appeals noted that, “[u]nder North Carolina law, fiduciary relationships create a rebuttable presumption that the plaintiff put his trust and confidence in the defendant as a matter of law.” Id. at 349, 737 S.E.2d at 809. As a result, the Court of Appeals required that these issues be addressed on remand. Id. at 350, 737 S.E.2d at 809.
On 10 May 2013, the trial court entered an order on remand determining that, given the nature of the fiduciary relationship that existed between Mr. King and defendants, defendant Bryant “had a fiduciary duty to disclose to his patient all facts material to their transaction.” More specifically, the trial court’s May 2013 order found as a fact that:
2. Mr. King, now 68, has no educational degree beyond high school and his job requires little reading. He has minimal experience reading legal documents.
3. Defendant Village Surgical Associates, RA. (“Village Surgical”) has experience in managing patient complaints, responding to claims of medical negligence made by patients, and resolving disputes through arbitration.
4. On April 29, 2009, Plaintiffs visited Defendant’s office for the first time to consult with Defendant Bryant about performing laparoscopic surgery on Plaintiff King *456to repair a hernia. Plaintiff King had been referred to Defendants by his primary care physician.
5. While Plaintiffs were waiting to meet Defendant Bryant and consult with him about performing surgery, Defendant’s receptionist provided Plaintiff King with several intake forms to complete and sign. Plaintiff King considered the forms to be a formality.
6. Neither the receptionist, nor Defendant Bryant, nor any agent of Defendants called to Plaintiff King’s attention the fact that one of the forms he was asked to sign, the Agreement, differed from all of the other forms because it did not concern medical information, insurance information, or payment for the surgery, all routine for a new patient. Nor did anyone disclose to Plaintiff King that the Agreement sought to foreclose his access to the judicial process in the event that any dispute arose out of or related to the surgery to be performed by Defendant Bryant.
8. The Agreement does not provide that by signing it, the patient waives his or her right to a trial. The Agreement does not include the word “jury” or “judge” or “trial.” The Agreement does not provide that the patient can consult an attorney before signing it.
9. There is no evidence that the physician or any agent of Defendants discussed with the patient, Plaintiff King, any provision of the Agreement.
11. At the time Plaintiff King signed the Agreement and provided his medical information on intake forms, even though he had not yet met Defendant Bryant, he was already placing his confidence and trust in Defendants, as demonstrated by his willingness to share his confidential medical information.
14. The first, bold-faced paragraph of the Agreement is poorly drafted, confusing, and nonsensical. For *457example, it refers to the “provision of healthcare services by me,” suggesting that “me” refers to the physician rather than the patient.
15. The Agreement repeatedly refers to arbitration without defining the term. The Agreement includes no mention whatsoever of the judicial process, a trial, or a jury. The Agreement does not disclose Defendants’ intent for Plaintiff King to waive his rights to the judicial process, including his right to a jury trial, in the event of any claim arising from or related to the surgery. A person of Plaintiff King’s education and experience should not reasonably have been expected to know from the language of the Agreement, or from any information provided to him by Defendants, that he had a right to a jury trial to resolve any potential dispute with his surgeon. Nor should he have been expected to understand from the language of the Agreement or other information provided to him by Defendants that by signing the Agreement, he would waive his right to a jury trial.
16. The last sentence of the second paragraph in the Agreement starts with complex but complete clauses ... and ends with an incomplete clause .... A person of Plaintiff King’s education and experience should not reasonably be expected to understand the last, tacked on, incomplete clause to mean that he did not need to sign the Agreement in order for Defendant Bryant to perform the surgery.
17. Plaintiff King read the Agreement after a copy was provided to him by his attorney, and he still did not understand its contents or the intended consequence of signing it.
18. Unlike arbitration agreements which have been upheld and enforced in medical negligence cases, the Agreement includes no provision allowing or recommending that the patient consult with an attorney regarding the Agreement prior to signing it.
19. Defendants sought Plaintiff’s signature on the Agreement to benefit themselves.
*45820. The Agreement’s provision requiring at least one physician arbitrator, and its provision allowing all three arbitration panelists to be a physician, confers a benefit to Defendants and detriment to Plaintiffs.
23. Ms. Ramos, a receptionist at Defendant Village Surgical, states in a sworn affidavit that the form arbitration agreement is included in “registration paperwork” presented to each new patient when he or she visits the practice for an initial appointment, prior to meeting with a physician. ... It is reasonable to infer from Ms. Ramos’ sworn statement that, in fact, it is the practice of Defendants to obscure the form arbitration agreement by presenting it among a pile of other documents without pointing it out or explaining its contents.
Based upon these findings of fact, the trial court concluded as a matter of law in the May 2013 order that:
3. Defendants were fiduciaries of Plaintiff King as the result of the physician-patient relationship.
4. Defendant Bryant and other agents of Defendants breached their fiduciary duties to Plaintiff King by failing to disclose to him all material terms of the Agreement and failing to deal with him openly, fairly, honestly, and without imposition, oppression, or fraud in procuring his signature on the Agreement.
6.. The Agreement is the product of constructive fraud and is therefore unenforceable.
7. The Agreement is unconscionable and is therefore unenforceable.
Defendants noted an appeal to the Court of Appeals from the trial court’s May 2013 remand order declining to enforce the arbitration agreement.
On 15 July 2014, the Court of Appeals filed an unpublished opinion affirming the May 2013 remand order on unconscionability grounds. King v. Bryant, 235 N.C. App. 218, 763 S.E.2d 338, 2014 WL 3510481 (2014) (unpublished) (King II). Although defendants had argued on appeal that the arbitration agreement was “not a product of constructive *459fraud and not unconscionable” and that the trial court had “erred by denying their motion to compel arbitration,” King II, 2014 WL 3510481 at *2, the Court of Appeals noted that “[defendants do not argue that the trial court’s findings of fact are not based on competent evidence,” id. at *6, making the trial court’s findings “binding on appeal,” id. at *6 n.l. In addition, the Court of Appeals declined to address defendants’ contention that “a fiduciary relationship did not exist at the time that Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement because [Dr. Bryant] had not yet accepted King as a patient,” id. at *6, given that the Court had already decided in King I “that a fiduciary relationship existed between the parties and directed the trial court to consider that fact on remand,” id. (citing N. C. Nat’l Bank v. Va. Carolina Builders, 307 N.C. 563, 567, 299 S.E.2d 629, 631 (1983) (concluding that, “once a panel of the Court of Appeals has decided a question in a given case that decision becomes the law of the case and governs other panels which may thereafter consider the case”)).
Upon reaching the unconscionability issue, the Court of Appeals noted this Court’s holding in Tillman v. Commercial Credit Loans, Inc., to the effect that, although
[arbitration is favored in North Carolina.. . . “equity may require invalidation of an arbitration agreement that is unconscionable.” A court will find a contract to be unconscionable “only when the inequity of the bargain is so manifest as to shock the judgment of a person of common sense, and where the terms axe so oppressive that no reasonable person would make them on the one hand, and no honest and fair person would accept them on the other.”
362 N.C. 93, 101-02, 655 S.E.2d 362, 369-70 (2008) (internal citations omitted) (quoting Murray v. United Food & Commercial Workers Int’l Union, 289 F.3d 297, 302 (4th Cir. 2002), and Brenner v. Little Red Sch. House Ltd., 302 N.C. 207, 213, 274 S.E.2d 206, 210 (1981)). “A party asserting that a contract is unconscionable must prove both procedural and substantive unconscionability.” Id. at 102, 655 S.E.2d at 370 (citations omitted). However,
[s]ince Tillman, the United States Supreme Court has issued two important opinions on the use of state law to set aside an arbitration agreement when that agreement is governed by the FAA: AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, _ U.S. _, 179 L.Ed.2d 742 (2011) (determining that the FAA preempted California’s judicial rule prohibiting class *460waivers in consumer arbitration agreements contained within contracts of adhesion) and American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Rest., _ U.S. _, 186 L.Ed.2d 417 (2013) (holding that the FAA does not permit courts to invalidate an arbitration agreement on the grounds that it does not permit class arbitration).
King II, 2014 WL 3510481, at *8. The Court of Appeals had addressed the impact of Concepcion and Italian Colors on Tillman in Torrence v. Nationwide Budget Finance, 232 N.C. App. 306, 753 S.E.2d 802, disc, rev. denied and cert. denied, 367 N.C. 505, 759 S.E.2d 88 (2014), and stated that, “ [w]hile both Concepcion and Italian Colors dealt with class action waivers, underlying those decisions was a broader theme that unconscionability attacks that are directed at the arbitration process itself will no longer be tolerated.” Torrence, 232 N.C. App. at 321, 753 S.E.2d at 811 (citation omitted). As a result, in Torrence, the Court of Appeals held that “(1) the ‘prohibitively high’ cost factor is no longer applicable to an unconscionability analysis; (2) an agreement’s lack of mutuality, alone, is not sufficient to justify a finding of substantive unconscionability; and (3) the prohibition of joinder of claims and class actions does not render an arbitration agreement unconscionable.” King II, 2014 WL 3510481 *8 (citing Torrence, 232 N.C. App. at 322, 753 S.E.2d at 811-12).
In spite of the limitations on the use of state law to preclude enforcement of arbitration agreements noted in Torrence, the Court of Appeals concluded that “the trial court correctly determined that the arbitration agreement here is unconscionable,” id., given defendant’s failure to take “any active steps, in accordance with their fiduciary duty, to make a full, open disclosure of material facts to King before he signed the arbitration agreement,” id. at *9 (internal quotations marks omitted). The Court of Appeals concluded that the arbitration agreement is procedurally unconscionable because,
[g]iven (1) the fact that we analyze the agreement here in the context of the fiduciary duty Defendants owed King, (2) the disparate levels of sophistication between the parties, (3) the nature of the delivery of the agreement, and (4) Defendants’ burden because of their fiduciary duty to King to provide full and open disclosure of the material facts surrounding the transaction between the parties, we hold that the arbitration agreement suffered from significant procedural unconscionability. King did not have a *461meaningful choice between whether to sign the agreement or not. Accordingly, Defendants’ argument is overruled.
Id. at *10. Similarly, the Court of Appeals found the arbitration agreement to be substantively unconscionable because it is “a harsh, one-sided and oppressive instrument.” Id. As a result, after concluding that “this agreement is unconscionable because of Defendants’ failure to properly prepare and present the arbitration agreement to King in the context of their confidential, physician-patient, fiduciary relationship,” id. at *11, the Court of Appeals affirmed the remand order, id.
On 18 August 2014, defendants filed a petition for discretionary review requesting this Court to grant further review of the Court of Appeals’ decision in King II. On 18 December 2014, this Court granted defendants’ discretionary review petition. After briefing and oral argument, this Court entered an order on 21 August 2015 remanding this case to the Superior Court, Cumberland County, for the making of further findings of fact relating to the issue of whether a physician-patient relationship existed at the time that Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement on the grounds that both the trial court’s May 2013 remand order and the Court of Appeals decision in King II had “assumed the existence of such a relationship” and that the record was devoid of sufficient findings to permit the proper resolution of this case in the absence of such findings.
On 6 November 2015, Judge Mary Ann Tally entered an order on remand making the factual findings requested in this Court’s remand order. In the November 2015 order, the trial court found as fact that:
5. When Mr. King completed the forms by providing his confidential medical history, symptoms, personal identifying information, and health insurance [ ] information, and signing the arbitration agreement, he trusted Dr. Bryant as his doctor, Dr. Bryant’s practice, and its employees, particularly because of the referral from his family doctor. Mr. King would not have provided private and confidential information and signed the documents, including the arbitration agreement, if he had not considered Dr. Bryant to be his doctor and trusted him.
6. Patient trust is fundamental to the physician-patient relationship. The requirements of that relationship include adequate communication between the physician and patient; there be no conflict of interest *462between the patient and the physician; personal details of the patient[’]s life shared with the physician be held in confidence; there be respect for the patient’s autonomy; patient primacy; and selflessness. These requirements are described in the North Carolina Medical Board Position Statement, The physician-patient relationship. Each of these requirements applied to the relationship between defendants and Mr. King.
7. Each of those requirements arose because a physician-patient relationship existed between defendants and Mr. King. ... [A] physician-patient relationship can exist before a physician meets a patient, particularly when the physician delegates to others certain duties that are involved in the relationship, even though this may “not fit traditional notions of the doctor-patient relationship.” Mozingo v. Pitt Cnty. Mem. Hosp., Inc., 331 N.C. 182, 188, 415 S.E.2d 341, 344-45 (1992). These cases support the fact that a physician-patient relationship can exist when a physician has fewer than all of the duties that attach to the relationship after the duty to treat arises or when a physician, in today’s modem health care environment, relies on others to participate in activities necessary for patient care.
8. By analogy, the [a]ttomey-client privilege protects “not only the giving of professional advice to those who can act on it but also the giving of information to the lawyer to enable him to give sound and informed advice.” Upjohn Co. v. United States, 449 U.S. 383, 390, 394 (1981).
9. The physician-patient relationship began before Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement and was in existence at the time he signed the arbitration agreement.
After receiving these additional findings of fact concerning the physician-patient relationship issue, this Court ordered supplemental briefing and argument. In their supplemental brief, defendants urge us to “disregard the findings of fact entered by the trial court, find that no physician-patient relationship existed at the time Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement, and reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s order on the grounds that the arbitration agreement is unconscionable.” Plaintiffs, on the other hand, argue that the findings contained in the November 2015 order establish that a physician-patient *463relationship existed when Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement, so that “this Court should affirm the holdings that the Agreement is unenforceable due to constructive fraud and unconscionability.”
Although they have vigorously challenged the legal effect of the factual findings contained in the May 2013 and November 2015 orders, defendants have not challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support any of those findings. According to well-established North Carolina law, “[w]here no exception is taken to a finding of fact by the trial court, the finding is presumed to be supported by competent evidence and is binding on appeal.” Koufman v. Koufman, 330 N.C. 93, 97, 408 S.E.2d 729, 731 (1991) (citing, inter alia, Schloss v. Jamison, 258 N.C. 271, 275, 128 S.E.2d 590, 593 (1962)). However, defendants do argue that the findings of fact fail to support the conclusions of law to the effect that “[defendants were fiduciaries of Plaintiff King as the result of the physician-patient relationship” and that “[t]he Agreement is unconscionable and is therefore unenforceable.” Unlike findings of fact, “[c]onclusions of law drawn by the trial court from its findings of fact are reviewable de novo on appeal.” Carolina Power & Light Co. v. City of Asheville, 358 N.C. 512, 517, 597 S.E.2d 717, 721 (2004) (citations omitted). As a result, we will review defendants’ challenges to these conclusions of law using a de novo standard of review.
After carefully considering the record and the briefs and arguments submitted by the parties, we believe that the proper resolution of this case hinges upon the nature of the relationship that existed between Mr. King and Dr. Bryant at the time that the arbitration agreement was signed. Although the parties, especially in their supplemental briefs, have placed particular emphasis upon the issue of whether a physician-patient relationship could have existed between Mr. King and Dr. Bryant before Dr. Bryant met with and accepted Mr. King as a patient, we are not, after extensive reflection, convinced that this case is properly viewed through a physician-patient relationship lens. Instead, we believe that this case is most properly understood as revolving around the issue of whether a fiduciary relationship existed between Mr. King and Dr. Bryant independent of the existence of a physician-patient relationship at the time that Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement.2
*464“For a breach of fiduciary duty to exist, there must first be a fiduciary relationship between the parties.” Dalton v. Camp, 353 N.C. 647, 651, 548 S.E.2d 704, 707 (2001) (citing Curl v. Key, 311 N.C. 259, 264, 316 S.E.2d 272, 275 (1984), and Link v. Link, 278 N.C. 181, 192, 179 S.E.2d 697, 704 (1971)). “The courts generally have declined to define the term ‘fiduciary relation’ and thereby exclude from this broad term any relation that may exist between two or more persons with respect to the rights of persons or property of either.” Abbitt v. Gregory, 201 N.C. 577, 598, 160 S.E. 896, 906 (1931). “In general terms, a fiduciary relation is said to exist [w]herever confidence on one side results in superiority and influence on the other side; where a special confidence is reposed in one who in equity and good conscience is bound to act in good faith and with due regard to the interests of the one reposing the confidence.” Vail v. Vail, 233 N.C. 109, 114, 63 S.E.2d 202, 206 (1951) (internal quotation marks omitted).
A number of relationships have been held to be inherently fiduciary, including the relationships between spouses, attorney and client, trustee and beneficiary, members of a partnership, Dallaire v. Bank of America, N.A., 367 N.C. 363, 367, 760 S.E.2d 263 266, and physician and patient, Watts v. Cumberland County Hospital System Inc., 317 N.C. 110, 116, 343 S.E.2d 879, 884 (1986). However,
[t]he relation may exist under a variety of circumstances; it exists in all cases where there has been a special confidence reposed in one who in equity and good conscience is bound to act in good faith and with due regard to the interests of the one reposing confidence.Courts of equity have carefully refrained from defining the particular instances of fiduciary relations in such a manner that other and perhaps new cases might be excluded. It is settled by an overwhelming weight of authority that the principle extends to every possible case in which a fiduciary relation exists as a fact, in which there is confidence reposed on one side and the resulting superiority and influence on the other. The relation and the duties involved in it need not be legal; it may be moral, social, domestic, or merely personal.
Abbitt, 201 N.C. at 598, 160 S.E. at 906-07 (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Dallaire, 367 N.C. at 367, 760 S.E.2d at 266 (concluding that fiduciary relationships are characterized by “a heightened level of trust and the duty of the fiduciary to act in the best interests of the other party”).
*465If a fiduciary relationship is found to exist, the fiduciary is “held to a standard ‘stricter than the morals of the market place’... ‘[n]ot honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is [then] the standard of behavior.’ ” Dallaire, 367 N.C. at 367, 760 S.E.2d at 266 (second alteration in original) (quoting Meinhard v. Salmon, 249 N.Y. 458, 464, 164 N.E. 545, 546 (1928)). Liability for breach of fiduciary duty “is based on [the taking advantage of] a confidential relationship rather than a specific misrepresentation.” Barger v. McCoy Hillard Parks, 346 N.C. 650, 666, 488 S.E.2d 215, 224 (1997) (quoting Terry v. Terry, 302 N.C. 77, 85, 273 S.E.2d 674, 678-79 (1981)); Priddy v. Kernersville Lumber Co., 258 N.C., 653, 658, 129 S.E.2d 256, 261 (1963) (stating that liability for breach of fiduciary duty “may exist without any fraudulent intent”). As a result, “[w]here a relation of trust and confidence exists between the parties, there is a duty to disclose all material facts and failure to do so constitutes” a breach of fiduciary duty. Vail, 233 N.C. at 114, 63 S.E.2d at 206 (internal quotation marks omitted).3 However, before liability for breach of fiduciary duty can exist, it must be shown that the defendant sought to benefit himself at the expense of the other party. Barger, 346 N.C. at 666-67, 488 S.E.2d at 224.
The record evidence,, as reflected in the factual findings contained in the May 2013 and November 2015 orders, demonstrates that Mr. King was referred to Dr. Bryant by his family practitioner for the purpose of having a hernia repair procedure performed. Individuals consult with surgeons, like they do with other physicians, because such persons possess “special knowledge and skill in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries, which the patient lacks;” accordingly, “the patient has sought and obtained the services of the physician because of such special knowledge and skill.” Black v. Littlejohn, 312 N.C. 626, 646, 325 S.E.2d 469, 482 (1985) (internal quotation marks omitted). Upon arrival at defendants’ office, Mr. King was presented with a collection of documents, including the arbitration agreement, and asked to complete them. The majority of the documents that Mr. King was requested to *466complete and sign involved the provision of medical information, which is inherently sensitive and confidential in nature, for Dr. Bryant’s use in determining whether to accept Mr. King as a patient and in determining how he should be treated. No one directed Mr. King’s attention to the arbitration agreement, which was only one of a number of documents presented to him on that occasion, or made any attempt to explain the ramifications that would result from any decision on his part to sign it. After Mr. King completed and signed these documents and met with Dr. Bryant, Dr. Bryant agreed to assume responsibility for providing Mr. King with medical care and treatment.
A careful examination of the information contained in the findings of fact made in the May 2013 and November 2015 orders persuades us that, regardless of whether a physician-patient relationship existed between Mr. King and Dr. Bryant at the time that the arbitration agreement was signed, there was a confidential relationship between them at that point. It is difficult for us to see how one could reach any conclusion other than that Mr. King reposed trust and confidence in Dr. Bryant, to whom he had been referred by his family physician for the purpose of receiving surgical treatment. As we have already noted, the fact that Mr. King decided to consult Dr. Bryant constituted recognition on Mr. King’s part that Dr. Bryant possessed “special knowledge and skill in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries, which the patient lacks.” Black, 312 N.C. at 646, 325 S.E.2d at 482. Before he even saw Dr. Bryant, Mr. King demonstrated sufficient trust and confidence in him to provide Dr. Bryant with confidential medical information. Finally, unlike Dr. Bryant, Mr. King had received a limited education and had little to no experience interpreting legal documents. As a result, we conclude that a fiduciary relationship existed between Mr. King and Dr. Bryant at the time that Mr. King signed the arbitration agreement.
Similarly, we conclude that defendants violated their fiduciary duty to Mr. King by failing to make full disclosure of the nature and import of the arbitration agreement to him at or before the time that it was presented for his signature. Instead of specifically bringing this agreement, which substantially affected his legal rights in the event that an untoward event occurred during the course of the treatment that he received from defendants, to Mr. King’s attention and explaining it to him, defendants presented Mr. King with the arbitration agreement, which, at a minimum, could have been worded more clearly, in a collection of documents, thereby creating the understandable impression that the arbitration agreement was simply another routine document that Mr. King needed to sign in order to become a patient. Moreover, consistent with *467the unchallenged findings of fact, defendants benefitted from Mr. King’s action in signing the arbitration agreement by ensuring that any subsequent dispute between the parties would be resolved using the forum, procedures, and decision makers of their choice. As a result, the findings of fact contained in the May 2013 and November 2015 orders establish that defendants failed to act consistently with their fiduciary duty to Mr. King by requesting that he sign a document with substantial legal ramifications and which they believed to be of benefit to themselves without making full disclosure to Mr. King.
Aside from the fact that defendants have failed to clearly advance a federal preemption argument in reliance upon Concepcion and related decisions in the briefs that they filed before this Court, State v. Garcell, 363 N.C. 10, 41, 678 S.E.2d 618, 638 (stating that, “[d]espite citing due process concerns to the trial court, defendant fails to adequately develop a constitutional claim on appeal and has thus abandoned any such argument”) (citing N.C. R. App. P. 28(a), (b)(6))), cert. denied, 558 U.S. 999, 130 S. Ct. 510, 175 L. Ed. 2d 362 (2009), and the fact that defendants have made no attempt to show that the present arbitration agreement is subject to the Federal Arbitration Act,4 we do not believe that our decision in this case is in any way inconsistent with the federal preemption principles enunciated in Concepcion and related cases. As those decisions clearly recognize, arbitration agreements are subject to invalidation based upon “ ‘generally applicable contract defenses, such as fraud,  duress, or unconscionability,’ but not by defenses that *468apply only to arbitration or that derive their meaning from the fact that an agreement to arbitrate is at issue.”6 Concepcion, 563 U.S. at 339, 131 S. Ct. at 1746, 179 L. Ed. 2d at 751 (quoting Doctor’s Assocs., Inc. v. Casarotto, 517 U.S. 681, 687, 116 S. Ct. 1652, 1656, 134 L. Ed. 2d 902, 909 (1996)) (other citations omitted). A decision to refrain from enforcing the agreement on breach of fiduciary duty grounds does not rest upon the fact that it provides for the arbitration of medical negligence claims, does not treat arbitration agreements differently than other contracts, and does not make the enforcement of arbitration agreements more difficult than the enforcement of any other contract. On the contrary, we would have reached the same result on these facts with respect to any agreement that substantially affected Mr. King’s substantive legal rights, such as an agreement absolving defendants from the necessity for compliance with otherwise applicable confidentiality requirements, providing for the transfer of items of real or personal property from Mr. King to defendants, or waiving any tort or contract-based claims that Mr. King might have had against either or both defendants. Thus, since the breach of fiduciary duty defense to enforcement of the agreement that we uphold in this case does not apply “only to arbitration” or “derive [its] meaning from the fact that an agreement to arbitrate is at issue,” id. at 339, 131 S. Ct. at 1746, 179 L. Ed. 2d at 759, a refusal to enforce an arbitration agreement on that basis does not “stand[ ] as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress,” id. at 352, 131 S. Ct. at 1753, 179 L. Ed. 2d at 759 (quoting Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52, 67, 61 S. Ct. 399, 404, 85 L. Ed. 2d 581, 587 (1941)). Instead, consistently with Prima Paint Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Manufacturing. Co., 388 U.S. 395, 403-04, 87 S. Ct. 1801, 1806, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1270, 1277 (1967), our decision simply recognizes that a “claim [of] fraud in the inducement of the arbitration [agreement] itself—an issue which goes to the ‘making’ of the agreement to arbitrate—[is one that a] court may proceed to adjudicate.”7 As a result, *469our decision to refrain from enforcing the arbitration agreement at issue in this case is not precluded by the doctrine of federal preemption.
Thus, for all of these reasons, we hold that the arbitration agreement at issue in this case was obtained as a result of defendants’ breach of a fiduciary duty that they owed to Mr. King.8 In light of that determination, we hold that the Court of Appeals did not err by upholding the trial court’s decision to deny defendants’ motion to enforce the arbitration agreement.9 We do, however, wish to make clear that nothing in our decision in this case should be understood to cast any doubt upon the ability of physicians and patients, assuming that proper disclosure is made, to enter into appropriately drafted agreements providing for the arbitration of disputes like the one that underlies this case. However, given our determination that Mr. King had entered into a fiduciary relationship with Dr. Bryant at the time that the arbitration agreement was signed and the fact that defendants did not make full disclosure to Mr. King before presenting the agreement at issue in this case for his signature, we hold that the arbitration agreement was obtained as the result of a breach of fiduciary duty from which defendants benefitted and is, for that reason, unenforceable. Thus, we modify and affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in King II by holding the arbitration agreement unenforceable on breach of fiduciary duty, as opposed to unconsciona-bility, grounds.
MODIFIED AND AFFIRMED.
Justice MORGAN did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.