How To Talk To Your Doctor



Detailed Description

After you’ve had the conversation with your loved ones, the next step is talking to your doctor or nurse about your wishes. Don’t wait for a medical crisis; talking with your doctor or nurse now makes it easier to make medical decisions when the time comes.

Failing Forward Moments

Too many people die in a manner they would not choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.

It's time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It's time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it's time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don't want for ourselves.

We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table not in the intensive care unit with the people we love, before it's too late.

Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes, and those of our loved ones, are both expressed and respected. The Conversation Project offers tools, guidance, and resources to begin talking with loved ones about your and their wishes.

Type of Tool

Tool or toolkit


advance care planning, advance directive, end-of-life, doctor, wishes


Key Contacts

The Conversation Project


  • Education

  • Family and social support

  • Quality of care

  • System change: Health care transformation

  • System change: Community transformation

  • Health System Transformation Oasis

  • Health care (payers, service providers, device/pharma, IT/infrastructure)

  • Effective

  • Efficient

  • Health-promoting

  • Individual/family

  • Culture

  • Childcare

  • Faith community

Geographic Context
  • Urban/large city

  • Rural

Geographic Unit
  • Neighborhood

  • Region (spanning several counties and/or towns)

  • Portfolio 1 (Improving mental/physical health with patients or workforce)

    This portfolio supports health care organizations focused on improving the physical and/or mental health of individuals for whom they feel directly responsible (e.g., patients and/or employees).

  • Portfolio 4 (Stewarding the community's long-term overall well-being)

    ​​​​​​In this portfolio, health care organizations actively engage in contributing to the long-term, overall wellbeing of the community as part of their mission and responsibility. In partnership with other community-based organizations, the focus on the community as a whole beyond subpopulations or priority topics.

Action Areas
  • Care management

    Resources to help a set of activities that help improve patient care and reduce  medical services by “enhancing coordination of care, eliminate duplication, and helping patients and caregivers more effectively manage health conditions” as stated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

Words to Describe