Tips for Interacting with Medical Providers

You have and will interact with many medical providers in your sarcoma journey. Here are useful tips from others who have shared your journey.

1) Prepare a written list of questions for your doctor or nurse prior to each meeting. It can be difficult to remember each question when emotions run high or after receiving news about your treatment’s progress. Write all medical appointments on a calendar along with your treatment schedule and a list of all the medications you are taking (and the dosage) and keep this with your list of questions. Bring it to all of your appointments. This will make it easier to refer back to information, if necessary, when talking with your doctor or nurse.

2) Do not be intimidated or afraid to ask anything. Your doctor and the others on your health care team work for you. And you have a right to fully understand all of your treatment options and any potential side effects associated with your choices.

3) Ask for clarification on any tests or procedures that you do not understand. “Are they necessary?” “How can they help you?”

4) Get copies of your x-rays, scans, or test results. Store them in a safe place so that you can refer back to them, if necessary, or bring them with you to seek a second opinion.

5) Do not assume that no news is good news. Learn about your own health condition and treatment by asking your doctor and nurse and using other reliable sources.

6) Share this RIS website (www.reininsarcoma.org), and other sites that you find to be helpful, with your physician.

7) Remain involved and proactive in your treatment. Research shows that involved and engaged patients often feel better than those who take a more passive role.

8) Remember that you have choices. You have the right to choose your doctor, hospital, and course of treatment.