How To Use Your Goals of Care Jump Starter

When your doctor tells you that they want to talk about your “goals of care,” that means they want to talk about the things in your life that matter most to you, and to help you build a new plan shaped around those things.

Usually, doctors start these conversations because your treatment isn’t going as well as they hoped it would. That may mean a cure is no longer possible (or at least very unlikely) or that your time is getting short.

Here’s the thing, though. There are a lot of people who feel like they could benefit from a goals of care conversation with their doctor right now. Only their doctor hasn’t brought it up yet, so they don’t bring it up either. After all, they have no idea how to even start a conversation like that.

That’s why I created the Goals of Care Jump Starter. The idea behind the Jump Starter is to give you the tools to start a big picture conversation with your family and your doctor in a few bite-sized, manageable conversation prompts.

What I hope you do with the Jump Starter is read it by yourself, then read it with someone important to you. Fill it out, and talk about each of your answers. Help the person with you understand why you wrote what you wrote.

What I hope you do next is take this Jump Starter to your next appointment. Hand it to your doctor and tell them:

“Hey doc, I want to make sure you know how I’m thinking about a few things so we can stay on the same page moving forward…” and then share what you wrote down.

After you share, ask your doctor:

“Based on what I’ve put down on this page, do you think we should be doing anything differently right now?

And maybe the answer will be “yes.” More likely the answer will be “no,” but you will have made it clear to your doctor that these conversations are important to you. And equally important, you will have propped the door open for another conversation with your doctor down the road.

You got this!

PS: Wait a minute, you don’t have a copy of the Jump Starter yet? Don’t worry, I got you.

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