Questions to Ask When Making Appointments

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2018

You will have many appointments throughout your cancer experience. Learning the basics about these appointments beforehand will help make sure you get the most out of each visit. It will also help reduce stress and anxiety. Consider asking the following questions when scheduling an appointment:

Basic questions

  • What is the doctor's full name and title?

  • How can I contact the office?

  • What is the appointment cancellation policy?

Questions to ask about getting to your appointment

  • Where is the office located? What is the building address? Which floor is the office on? What is the room or suite number?

  • Where should I park? Will I have to pay for parking?

  • Can I get to the office using public transportation?

  • Which entrance to the building should I use?

  • How far will I need to walk?

Questions to ask about insurance

  • Which insurance plans does the doctor accept?

  • Do I need to get a referral to see the doctor?

  • Will the office bill my insurance company? Or will I need to pay at the time of the visit?

  • Will I be charged a co-pay?

Questions to ask about the appointment

  • What is the main purpose of this visit? Will I receive a physical exam or will we discuss test results and/or treatment options?

  • What should I bring to my appointment? Insurance cards? Surgical or pathology reports? Diagnostic test results? Contact information for other doctors I have seen? Any other items?

  • Will I have any procedures during my visit?

  • Are there any foods or activities I should avoid before my appointment?

  • How long will this visit likely last?

  • May I bring a family member or friend to meet with the doctor?

  • May I record what the doctor says?

  • What support staff members will be available during my visit? Oncology nurses, social workers, nutritionists or registered dieticians, or counselors?

Related Resources

Managing Your Care

Medical Forms

Questions to Ask the Doctor