While you may be comfortable talking to a doctor on the phone, you should have an in-person appointment to make sure that the doctor is a good fit. You should also be able to discuss the insurance process with them. Some oncology doctors are available only by phone and will not take your call during the weekend. If you are unable to schedule an in-person appointment, you can call the main number of the hospital to speak to the staff. You may also want to ask for credentials from the doctor.
Bring someone with you to the initial appointment
It can be beneficial to bring someone with you to the initial appointment, especially if you’re unsure of what to expect. This person can take notes and process information afterward. It’s also helpful to bring a medical chart for your doctor, as it will help you to keep track of milestones and acclimate to the environment. Remember that the more details you provide about your condition, the better the doctors will be able to align their team and your treatment plan.
Provide detail about your medical history
If your health plan does not cover cancer treatments, your oncologist may need copies of your medical history, radiology scans, and other information. Whether you choose to see an oncologist at a cancer center or in a hospital, be sure that the oncologist’s office will coordinate with your primary care physician. If the doctor’s office does not offer referrals, check with your insurance provider. Your insurance company may require you to deliver certain records and materials.
Always get a second opinion
You should always get a second opinion. If your doctor has a strong opinion about a particular treatment, you should seek a second opinion. Besides asking for a second opinion, you should ask the other doctor about his or her experience treating cancer. If they seem overworked, you should avoid visiting them. You should also bring a trusted family member or friend to the appointment. This person will help you understand the insurance process.
In the end, if you are visiting an oncology doctor for the first time, you should be prepared to wait for a while. You may feel nervous and overwhelmed before seeing the doctor. You should bring any medical records you have, as well as a list of your allergies and medication. A cancer specialist will also ask you about any supplements or dietary supplements you take. You should also bring a list of all prescription medications.