The new breed of empowered patient helps their oncologist by becoming better educated about their disease; that way, not everything has to be explained at length by the doctor. Cancer patients can help their own cause by finding a way to grapple with psychosocial issues so that they do not consume the oncologist’s time.
- A) Can I bring a
written list of
questions to the
- B) Can I bring a
family member or
friend to our
- C) Can I do
and talk to you
- D) Who is my
and how do I put
- Practical Tips...
- Oncologists are increasingly comfortable with confronting a list of very specific
patient questions during a doctor’s appointment; they will do their best to provide
helpful answers and usually don’t mind if the patient takes notes.
- Doctors usually don’t mind having someone accompany the patient – often they
are called “patient advocates.” They help the patient remember what the doctor
said or also take notes to review later.
- Because of the Patient Empowerment Movement, doctors now expect that most
patients will become quite self-educated about their disease. That usually is a
positive, because it raises the level of patient-doctor discourse. Sometimes, of
course, a doctor can get impatient if asked too many questions in one session.
- It starts with your principal oncologist – probably a clinical oncologist. It includes
your primary care physician. The there is the patient and perhaps one patient
advocate type (such as a family member). Cancer patients see scores of other
doctors, so some of them should be kept informed. Finally, the patient may have
connected with a patient navigator, and their involvement will be very useful.