Add This to Your Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? According to new research just released in The Journal of Palliative Medicine,  odds are you do. In fact, the study shows that nine out of ten people have a bucket list. What’s on the bucket lists can range from places to go and things to see to more practical undertakings such as creating an advance directive for end of life care.

According to the Stanford Medicine News Center, talking to your doctor about your list could help advance care planning.

A Stanford study has found that a majority of people make bucket lists and suggests they can be useful in doctor-patient discussions about care plans. 

For physicians, asking patients about their bucket lists, or whether they have one, can encourage discussion about making their medical care fit their life plans, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

CBS News added, “Previous research has found that doctors talking to their patients about their future goals can be a vital part of advance-care planning, particularly for people with a chronic or terminal illness. While these conversations can be difficult, especially when they are about the end of life, the researchers say having the talk helps ensure patients get the right care.”

ABC News quoted Dr. VJ Periyakoil, an associate professor at Stanford’s medical school and director of the Stanford Palliative Care Education and Training Program, as saying when doctors talk with their patients about bucket list goals – it can help build the bridge to begin talking about end of life conversations.

“Patients don’t see the relevance of an advance directive,” said VJ Periyakoil, M.D., in the press release. “They do see the relevance of a bucket list as a way to help them plan ahead for what matters most in their lives.”

The study concludes by suggesting that clinicians use patients’ bucket lists as a “starting point” to crafting personal care plans.

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) believes these conversations are incredibly important and we are committed to making sure Arizonans have the tools and resources they need to make their wishes known. How? Simply visit the Thoughtful Life Conversations (TLC) website.

TLC put together a short video on the importance of making sure you document your end of life wishes and make them known! You can watch it by clicking here or on the picture below.


If you still believe it’s too early or just not the right time to have a thoughtful life conversation about end of life care – remember…’s always too early until it’s too late! AzHHA wants to encourage you to add it to your bucket list…..and have that important conversation. It’s another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!




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