Before you and your child arrive for your first visit, you will have a letter and/or packet of information from your new patient coordinator, explaining where to go and what to bring. Please read this information carefully.
In addition, here are some general tips to help your first appointment go smoothly.
Obtain approval from your insurance company. If your child's visit will be paid for by health insurance, you may need approval ahead of time. Please contact your insurance company to make sure any necessary documents are in place. If you do not have insurance or have questions, please call our financial counselors at 617-632-3455.
Gather any necessary items. Many patients are surprised by the amount of preparation needed for the first appointment. Cancer is a complex illness, and every case is different; it's important for us to have as much information about your case as possible.
In some cases, you will be asked to bring pathology slides, medical records, or radiology films to your first appointment. In other cases, you will be asked to send them in advance.
Fill out paperwork ahead of time. You may have received several documents to fill out, such as a medication list, patient history form, or questionnaire about your illness. Be sure to complete them and bring them with you.
Know where you’re going. Review maps and directions so you will feel confident about your journey, especially if your destination is unfamiliar. You can find information about places to eat, places to stay, driving directions and parking details in our Planning a Visit section.
Think about the questions you want to ask. Some people want to know everything about their child's diagnosis, while others just want to know the basic facts. Read tips for talking with your doctor about your child's treatment.
Please make sure you have with you the items listed in your packet, which may include radiology films, your patient health history form, and insurance cards. You might also like to bring along a book, magazine, games, or laptop to help you and your child pass the time while waiting. Dana-Farber has wireless internet access, and patients may also borrow an iPad for several hours.
If your appointment is at Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic, please use the Dana-Farber parking garage, under Dana-Farber's Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. You can enter the garage from Jimmy Fund Way. A limited number of spots are reserved for families of pediatric patients on level three of the parking garage.
Please plan to check in at least 30 minutes before your child's appointment time.
You will receive a privacy notice, a patient identification card, and a handbook outlining all the services available to your child as a patient. You will also be asked to sign several forms.
You should plan to spend two to three hours for your first visit.
If you have general questions about Dana-Farber resources at the Longwood campus, such as how to find a support group or where to get a cup of coffee, drop by the Concierge desk located in the lobby of the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care at 450 Brookline Avenue.
During your visit, you or a family member might like to visit the chapel, cafeteria, or resource centers.
On your first day, you will meet with the health care professionals involved in your child's care, who will review your child's medical records and health history, and give your child a physical examination. They will answer any questions and discuss treatment options.
Your child's first appointment will be tailored to his or her specific medical needs, and he or she may be scheduled to see more than one physician.
Our specialists work as a team to evaluate and treat patients with all types of cancers and related diseases. Our goal is to provide an expert evaluation and the most advanced care possible.
Specialists may include:
Learn more about the roles of members of your child's care team
Here are some tips to guide your visits:
Once your child's appointment has ended, take a moment to recognize that this first step is over. Your next visit will feel much easier, because you’ll know your way, your child's care team will be familiar, and you’ll have a plan for moving forward.
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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 | Call us toll-free:
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