Before you go

Sharing your bucket list with your doctor could open the way to better conversations about your long-term health care decisions.

If you have a bucket list, you might want to give a copy to your doctor. VJ Periyakoil, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine, says doing so provides a chance to discuss your care goals, especially if you have a chronic or terminal illness.

“Patients don’t see the relevance of an advance directive. They do see the relevance of a bucket list as a way to help them plan ahead for what matters most in their lives,” says Periyakoil, senior author of a study published Feb. 8 in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

In the study, 91 percent of 3,056 people surveyed say they have a list of things they want to do before they die, including such things as traveling, running a marathon, skydiving or reaching a milestone birthday.