The Q-List is formulated as a series of questions because inquiry is the essence of so much of my work: inquiry as to the nature of patients' problems, inquiry as to the their abilities to manage treatment plans, and inquiry as to their capacities to endure and overcome.
Q-List questions can help generalist physicians see the forest for the trees, grasp a metaview of patients' situations, and decide in turn how they and other members of the health care team can best respond.
In proposing Q-List questions, I encourage individual generalists to add and subtract from my personal Q-List as they believe appropriate given the particular contexts of their practice environments and how they perceive the relational character of their work.
or, second, what is the validity of the Q-List in day-to-day practice?
The Q-List is based on my 26 years' experience as a family physician, primarily in safety net clinics in the United States.
The Q-List I propose above complements the work of many who have tried to advance the theory and practice of generalist medicine over the last several decades, in spite of an overall medical culture that has favored of the kind of technocratic-based problem-solving approach embodied by checklists.
The interaction is guided by the Q-List questions, noted in italics, that I ask myself or, at least, momentarily consider as a consciously learned behavior during the emerging course of the encounter.
The Q-List touches on many of the issues that often underlie an uncontrolled condition.
Finally, the Q-List may be especially helpful for those patients many of us care for who we secretly sometimes hope do not show up.