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First Appointment Tips

We want to make your family member or friend’s first visit a smooth, comfortable experience.

Several days before the appointment, they will receive a packet of information with more details about where we’re located and what they will need to bring with them.

Please arrive about 30 minutes early to complete some routine paperwork. Encourage your loved one to complete the forms in advance and bring them to the appointment.

Plan to spend two to three hours with us. It will be comprehensive and may include:

  • A physical examination.
  • Additional testing to help us outline treatment.
  • Visits with other physicians such as a surgeon or radiation oncologist.
  • Meeting with a financial counselor to discuss insurance coverage benefits.
  • Meetings with support services such as a pharmacist or patient navigator.

We’ll allow as much time as needed to answer all of your questions, explain the cancer, treatment options, and outline the next steps. Treatment will likely not begin at the first appointment.

Good communication between your loved one, you, and the medical team is essential. Your patient is the expert on their body. Make sure they or you bring up any concerns to their doctor and healthcare team. The first appointment is the ideal time to bring the list of questions you have created together.

We encourage you to ask questions and participate in the discussion. You may hear something your loved one missed or think of different questions to ask. You might also want to take notes to refer back to when questions arise. It will be important to continue that role in all visits.

After the first appointment, both of you should step back and take a deep breath. You’ve taken a significant step and have a plan to move forward.