Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Embarking on a new relationship with a cancer doctor requires that you trust someone enough to lead you through a journey through completely unfamiliar terrain. You’re trusting their expertise and their familiarity with the road ahead. And you are counting on their guidance professionally, medically, and as a fellow human being who has empathy for your situation. Of course, you may already have a team in place with which you are comfortable – in which case, you can confidently move forward with the treatment process. But if you’re still going through the process of vetting oncologists and related medical teams, then you are going to want to ask the appropriate questions to ensure that you are in the best hands possible.

Here are some of the questions to ask the doctors you are considering for your care:

1. Do you specialize in any particular type of cancer? It’s important to work with a doctor who understands the complexities of your particular diagnosis.

2. Are you board certified? Doctors who are board certified have received specialized training in their precise area of study and have passed the subsequent exams based on that training.

3. What is your experience? How long have you been in practice?

4. What is your treatment philosophy? What have you recommended for others with my particular diagnosis?

5. Am I able to reach you or someone on the team outside of regular office hours? Is there a nurse or someone else on call?

6. What other cancer care professionals do you work with? Who will be on the team working with me?

7. What hospital(s) do you work with?

Of course, there are a variety of other questions that can be – and should be – asked depending on your personal situation and preferences. Work with a friend or family member to put together a list of questions that are important to you in your care.

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