Your First Visit

By Tauseef Ahmed, MD, FACP Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Oncology / Hematology at New York Medical College Your tests have come back. The news is not good and your doctor refers you to a specialist. Oncologist, Orthopedist, Neurologist, each one trusted by your doctor, each one trained to help you, whatever your problem might be. Each one can and should be helped by you. Here are a few tips to help your caregiver help you:

Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. There are questions to answer and papers to fill out. What Should I Bring to My First Visit? Remember to bring all insurance cards and information. Your new doctor's office will confer with your insurance company to make sure all planned treatments are covered by your carrier.

During the first visit, the doctor and staff will be learning about you and your illness. To help them gather as much information as possible you will be asked to contact your referring doctor’s office to have your relevant medical records forwarded to the specialists office in time for your visit. These records include: 1. Surgical reports 2. Pathology reports and, if possible, the corresponding slides, scans (CT, MRI) and X-Rays 3. Laboratory test results 4. Referring and consulting doctor’s office and hospital notes.

Other information that will be helpful to you, the doctors and nurses include: 1. List of medications that you are currently taking (including Over-the-counter remedies, vitamins and herbal supplements) 2. List of question or concerns that you may have about your illness or treatment to discuss with the doctor or nurse What Else Can I Do to Help Myself? It is often helpful to bring a family member or friend along with you as another “pair of ears” to listen to the information shared and responses to your questions by doctors and nurses.

Many patients also bring along a notebook to jot down notes that will help them recall important points in the conversation or special instructions once they have left the office. There are other things patients bring for their own comfort such as a water bottle, snacks(to break a fast after a test) and reading material. Make sure you check with your doctors office when you set the appointment just in case they have special needs that need to be taken care of before the first visit, like an xray or blood test.


Disclaimer

Featured Doctors:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America Locations


,

Call: 888-417-1667

The Farber Center

Radiation Oncology Services New York

21 West Broadway
New York, NY 10007

Call: 888-460-0581

Eastchester Center for Cancer Care

Dr. Alfred Rosenbaum
Prostate Cancer Treatment

2330 Eastchester Road
Bronx, NY 10469

Call: (888) 860-7136

Optimal Wellness

Dr. Paul Dreschnack Dr. Paul Dreschnack
Skin Cancer Treatment in New York

14 E.69th Street,
New York, NY 10021

Call: 888-560-4045