Communicating With Your Oncologist: Tips from Physicians
Joel W. Goldwein, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
It is apparent that some OncoLink users are finding it difficult to have effective communications with their oncologists. As a result, we thought we might make several suggestions aimed at making these communications more effective. Here is a list of these suggestions.
- When you speak with your Oncologist, have a list of specific questions that you want answered. Sending the list to the physician in advance might be helpful.
- Be prepared to take notes. Bring a pencil and notebook to all meetings and examinations. Have a friend or relative along for the visit to take these notes for you.
- Ask for copies of all consent forms.
- Ask for copies and explanations of treatment 'road maps'.
- Notify your oncologist if you think the questions you have will take an extended period of time to answer. This will give him/her time to arrange their schedule accordingly.
- Many oncologists work closely with other team members. Be sure to ask if there is anyone else to meet and/or if there are phone numbers to contact those who might be able to provide additional information.