Dr. Elizabeth Bowhay-Carnes shares specific tips and advice so that you can be prepared for your doctor’s appointments, including bringing along a support person.
Dr. Elizabeth Bowhay–Carnes is Director of the Adult Non-Malignant Hematology Program and Co-Director of the Adolescent/Young Adult Oncology Program at Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center. More about this expert.
When a patient comes to their office visit or hospital visit with their treating team, one recommendation I have is that patient has a support person with them. Four ears are better than two, and we all hear a little bit different parts of the conversation. So, having a support person with you to as many visits as possible is important. As a patient, if you’re undergoing treatment, you may be either overwhelmed or not feeling particularly good that day, and so having an advocate is something that we always encourage people to have, if possible.
Secondly, we recommend that, as a patient, you sit down before your office visit and make a list of questions or concerns or just general thoughts that you have.
We do not want people to feel rushed during their office visit, but sometimes we get talking about one particular topic of conversation, and that may not be what is particularly important to the patient that day.
So, coming prepared to your office visit with a list of questions, concerns, or general thoughts really goes a long way in making sure that your voice is heard and that this is your time during your office visit.