A lot of people head into the doctor’s office with a list of questions they need answered immediately. Why does it hurt when I do this? Where did this thing come from? How is it possible I have the body fat index of an inflatable Sumo wrestler costume? However, it’s rare that your pre-visit prep involves considering the questions your doctor should have for you. Dr. Angelo Volandes, author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan For End-Of-Life Care has crafted six questions that show your physician is interested in really getting to the heart of your possible end-of-life concerns, and not just trying to get you out the door:
- What kinds of things are important to you in your life?
- If you were not able to do the activities you enjoy, are there any medical treatments that would be too much?
- What fears do you have about getting sick or medical care?
- Do you have any spiritual, religious, philosophical, or cultural beliefs that guide you when you make medical decisions?
- If you had to choose between living longer or having a higher quality of life, which would you pick?
- How important is it for you to be at home when you die?
Each one of these questions addresses a very important end-of-life issue, and not just from a medical standpoint. There are a lot of personal, spiritual, and quality-of-life aspects that go hand-in-hand with possible treatments you may require one day. This can also motivate a patient to fill out an Advance Directive before it’s too late.
Obviously we think these are great questions to ask, but we want to know what you think:
- How would you feel if your doctor asked you these questions?
- Would it inspire confidence or make you feel uncomfortable?
- Are there any other questions you wish your doctor would ask you?