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Invited Commentary
July 2018

Precision Communication—A Path Forward to Improve Goals-of-Care Communication

Author Affiliations
  • 1Ariadne Labs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(7):940-942. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2307

There are only two sorts of doctors; those who practice with their brains, and those who practice with their tongues.

Sir William Osler

Clinicians know that they should discuss goals of care with their seriously ill patients, but questions arise about the right time to start the discussion and the right words to use. Yet patients with serious illness often receive care that does not match their goals, and evidence demonstrates that patients who have these conversations are more likely to receive the care that they want and experience improved quality of life.1 In the current issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Curtis et al2 report results that may very well provide a scalable path forward to increase access to these critical conversations.

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