• Preparing for Your First Visit

    Before you and your child arrive for your first visit, you will have already received information from your new patient coordinator explaining where to go and what to bring. Please read this information carefully.

    Before your first visit

    If your child's visit will be paid for by health insurance, you may need to obtain approval ahead of time. Contact your insurance company to make sure any necessary documents are in place. If you do not have insurance and/or have questions about paying for care, get answers here.

    Gather necessary information

    Many patients are surprised by the amount of preparation needed for the first appointment. Having complete information helps facilitate the process of getting the correct diagnosis and planning treatment for your child. Please have as much of the following information gathered as possible when you call or bring it with you to your appointment:

    Patient summary 

    • date of birth
    • address
    • parent or guardian contact information
    • insurance information

    Complete clinical summary  

    • physician's name and contact information
    • diagnosis, or working diagnosis, and list of presenting symptoms
    • all scans, including MRI, CAT, Ultrasound, PET and MIBG
    • pathology slides and reports
    • operative note, if surgery was performed
    • radiation therapeutic summary, if your child had radiation
    • comprehensive list of previous chemotherapeutic agents, with dates and doses, if your child had chemotherapy

    If you receive forms prior to your first visit, please complete them to the best of your ability. Forms may include a medication list, patient history form, or questionnaire about your illness.

    Know where you’re going

    Review maps and directions so you will feel confident you can find your way, especially if your destination is unfamiliar. 

    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.

    Getting the most out of your visit

    Here are some tips to guide your first and subsequent visits:

    • Communicate with your child's health care team. You are an important member of your child's health care team. Your child's doctors and nurses know a lot about the disease, but you know a lot about your own child. Share your fears and concerns, and feel free to ask questions or have something explained again.  
    • Listen carefully. Take notes when your doctor or nurse explains something, or ask your companion to do so. You might want to bring along a notebook and pen, voice recorder, laptop computer, or portable electronic device to help keep track of key information. If you'd like to record the session, you will need verbal permission from your clinician and anyone else participating in the conversation.
    • Consider bringing along another family member or friend. Having support may help you with taking notes and making decisions.
    • Jot down the names of your child's health care team and office staff.
    • Bring your child's ID cards. Keep your insurance card and blue hospital cards with you at all times.
    • Know what, if any drugs your child takes. Make a list of all medications your child takes and any allergies he or she has. Update this list often and carry it with you to share with your health care team.
    • Try to be on time for appointments. Plan enough time for traffic delays (especially during the Red Sox season) and parking. Checking in at least 30 minutes before your first appointment and 15 minutes before subsequent appointments can help ensure that your child and other patients are seen promptly throughout the day.
  • Directions & Maps

    Finding Your Way 

    Get directions and campus maps.

  • Patient Handbook

    Patient Handbook CoverLearn about our services and resources for patients and families, in English (below) or Spanish.
  • Contact Us

    Our specialized new patient coordinators can answer your questions about treatment options and becoming a patient.
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    Ranked top pediatric cancer center by us news 2016Rated the top pediatric cancer center by U.S. News & World Report