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On the Brain
August 2018

Five Questions That Every Patient Has but Never Asks

Author Affiliations
  • 1Professional Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(8):911-912. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.1743

In more than 20 years of practicing medicine, I had never received a request quite like this. A person wanted to sit down for 30 minutes in my office (not the examination room) to tell me her story. She said she thought I should get to know her and to see if we clicked. She not only wanted to discuss her medical history but also her professional and personal life, hobbies, likes, and dislikes.

Honestly, I was a bit intrigued as to how this would go. So we met and had a good conversation. It did feel a little weird for me initially, as if I was on a job interview, which I guess I was. But what I took away from this experience is that she was essentially asking 5 questions that almost all patients have but never actually ask.