UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Airway Management

Title: Five questions to ask all Patients from Kinjal Sethuraman

Keywords: Patient, centered, communication (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/30/2020 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 4/22/2024)
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Atul Gawande's book Being Mortal is a thoughtful and well researched review of how we treat our ill, elderly and dying.  He suggests 5 questions to ask all patients as an opening discussion 
  • What is your understanding of where you are and of your illness?
  • Your fears or worries for the future
  • Your goals and priorities
  • What outcomes are unacceptable to you? What are you willing to sacrifice and not?
  • And later, what would a good day look like?

Asking these allows everybody to understand what the goal really is — what are you really fighting for? It’s for a life that contains certain things.




Gawande, A. (2014). Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande: Medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande (First edition.). New York: Metropolitan Books : Henry Holt & Company.