Knowing what to expect and what to take with you to your first appointment can help make things run more smoothly. Because you will be receiving a lot of information, it is a good idea to take along a family member or a friend for support. At your first appointment, you will meet your physician and cancer care team and learn about your diagnosis and treatment options.
Your first visit may include the following:
- Meeting your doctor, which could include an examination, review of medical history as well as reviewing any recent x-rays or scans
- Having additional tests needed to establish an accurate diagnosis and to also help your physician prepare your treatment plan
- Meeting the nurses, medical assistants, and other members of your medical team
- Meeting with your financial advocate and helping you understand your insurance coverage, your out-of-pocket expenses, your financial responsibilities and discussing any related questions you might have
- Expect that your first visit may require upwards of 2 hours
What to Ask
When you call to make your first appointment with your physician you may want to ask these questions:
- What is the exact location of the office (including floor, room, or suite number)?
- Where is the best place to park?
- What time should I arrive for my appointment?
- What personal information do I need to bring to my first appointment?
- What is my physician's full name and title?
- Does my physician participate in my insurance plan?
- Will the office bill my insurance company, and what am I expected to pay at the time of my appointment?
- What medical records do I need to bring with me (diagnostic reports, surgical reports, notes from my referring physician, etc.)?
What to Tell
For your first appointment you will need to discuss the following with your physician:
- Bring a list of all prescription medications you are taking, or all of your prescription medications in a bag to show to your physician.
- Bring and explain to your physician all dietary supplements (herbal supplements, dietary supplements, etc.) that are not prescribed by a physician, that you are taking.
- Be prepared to discuss your prior medical history with your physician.
- Tell your physician if you are allergic to any medicines.
- Share your concerns and questions with your physician