None of us have as much time as we’d like when we see the oncologist, primary care physician, or any member of our healthcare team. Maximize those precious few minutes and make the most of your visits with these hacks:
Before you go:
- Prepare for the appointment at least a few days in advance. Complete any online research you want to do (Our Resource Center has reliable cancer websites).
- Use My Appointment Summary Log (found in My Companion Guidebook)
- to organize what you need to bring and discuss, where and when you are going.
- Write down your questions (use the small journal or sheets provided).
- Leave room to write down the answers you are given.
- Prioritize your top 3 questions to ask the doctor. (Other members of the healthcare team can answer or obtain answers for the other questions for you).
” I still use the bag…it is a Godsend, I am always using it. It has taught me to always take notes, whenever I have a question for ANY doctor I write the question and answer down. I use it as a reference for dates and other information regarding any of my medical history.”
At the visit:
- Bring someone with you. Let them know how they can help you: extra set of ears, take notes, give info you may have forgotten.
- Good communication with your healthcare team is key! Click here for tips
- Consider recording the visit (ask permission first) to replay it at a later time.
- Bring your Bag It My Companion Guidebook or appropriate pieces within to refer to questions, forms and logs you prepared. Write down the answers and other info given to you so you don’t have to try to remember it.
- Ask for copies of your reports, labs, information from the visit. Add them to your notebook.
Click below for questions to ask your healthcare team from Paths to Survivorship booklet.