Difficult Conversations Workbook

Chapter 5: Partnering In Your Own Care

Getting the care you need can depend as much on your willingness to actively participate in decision-making as on your doctor’s skill. Communication is the key to that partnership.

“I envisioned being part of this team, having calls with the doctors about possible treatments…where I would be able to participate, or at least listen in. And then that never happened,” recalls Laura, saying that while the people caring for her seemed to be in agreement about her treatment, she felt she “wasn’t in the loop.”

Steve cautions, “If you don’t say anything, doctors will think, ‘Well, he understands everything I’ve told him,'” adding, If you don’t understand something—you need to ask.”

Ask yourself:
What are my most pressing concerns regarding my treatment at this time? Have I communicated these concerns to my doctor?
I am most concerned about...


Is there anything about your illness, treatment plan or prognosis that you feel needs more explaining at this time?
What needs more explaining is...
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