It could be your first meeting with the doctor, a follow up visit or a visit for a 2nd or 3rd opinion, clinical trials coordinator, or it could be a visit with anyone on your Integrative Care Team such
Neuro-Surgeons: Surgeons who specialize in removal of brain tumors and the nervous system
Neuro-Oncologists: Doctors who specialize in brain tumors and the nervous system
Radiation Oncologists: Doctors who use radiation to treat cancer
Oncologists: Doctors who treat cancer
Neurologists: Doctors who specialize in brain disorders
Rehabilitation/ Occupational Specialist: A healthcare professional such as physical therapist or occupational therapist who helps people recover from an illness or injury and return to daily
Social Worker (MSW): A Social Work professional licensed by the state who helps patients to obtain needed resources and facilitate interactions of the patients with and between care teams and community resources, as well as family interactions.
Why is it Important to Prepare?
- Makes the consultation much more valuable for everyone
- Doctors get all the information they need in ADVANCE to understand your tumor and recommend best treatment options for you
- You have the opportunity to have all of your questions answered
- Improves communications/ understanding / decision making, helps the doctor understand and you want to be involved in your care
- Preparedness and knowing in advance what to ask (TOP 10 Vital Questions) leads to enhanced quality of life and survivorship & immediate access to advanced treatment options
Planning your Visit
- Find out what is required in advance from the doctor’s staff
- Are there Items to forward in advance (confirm with Doctor’s office) such as, A CD of all prior brain imaging and medical records
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there’s anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including those that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment
- Write down key personal information, including any questions or concerns
- Prepare a detailed personal medical history and your family medical history document including a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you’re taking
- Consider taking a trusted family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Request them to take accurate notes during the doctor visit
- Be familiar w/tape recorder or voice recorder on your phone so what you can record instructions and commitments made during the doctor’s appointment Items You Should Bring With You or Send in Advance
Items You Should Bring with You or Send in Advance
- Get a notebook
- Write down all questions to ask your doctor
- You may be asked to send in Advance
- A CD of all prior brain imaging (MRI’S CT Scans, medical records previous doctor contact info etc.)
- Pathology and imaging reports
- Any notes on treatment so far
- Clinical notes from neurologist and neuro- oncologists
- A patient demographic sheet including their personal information (DOB, SS number, address, phone, etc.)
- A copy of the front and back of the patient’s medical insurance card
- Patient’s Family Doctor/Primary Care Physician and other provider’s names and locations.
- Health insurance information including insurance card(s), special forms, referrals or important phone numbers, Health Directives/Living Will
- Any additional medical records not already sent in advance of the visit
- Be prepared to wait for doctor’s appointment running late. Consider bringing a book, notecards, laptop to work on while waiting. TIP: schedule doctor appointment in the morning to decrease wait/running late time.
Call ahead to check to see if scheduled appointment w/doctor is running late. Arrive early (so that you have enough time for the necessary testing and paperwork). Be prepared to wait for doctor’s appointment running late. Consider bringing a book, notecards, laptop/tablet to work on while waiting.