As a new patient, we know that you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed. We are here to answer all of your questions, and to familiarize you with how everything works at New Mexico Cancer Center, getting you all of the information and help that you need.
If you are looking for information about making an appointment, please go to our Your Visit - Appointments page.
Two additional important information pages for new patients:
Click on the title just below to download a printable PDF of this page, including a page to write down your questions.
Your visit with a doctor is an important meeting that can be most effective if you plan ahead. It’s important that you give the doctor the information he or she needs and that you understand what your doctor is recommending. The following checklist will help you and your doctor get the most out of the visit. This information applies to NMCC but should be useful to consider before any doctor appointment.
Before You Arrive
- Find out the basics of the office:
- Where is it? (Locations with maps)
- What time should you arrive? (30 minutes before your first scheduled appointment and 15 minutes before future scheduled appointments).
- Where can you park? (There is plenty of convenient parking at NMCC). If your treatment is late in the evening, please park in a well lit area.
- Do you need to bring your insurance card or referral? (Yes).
- Assemble your records such as results and copies of x-rays, other imaging studies, lab tests, and take them with you to the appointment If your original records are left with your physician and you would like them returned, please relay this information to the PCC (Patient Care Coordinator) that is scheduling your return appointment. Please notify the PCC of any special collection needs for upcoming lab tests, such as a port device that should be accessed for collection of blood samples
- Bring your prescribed and over-the-counter medications in their original containers to the appointment. Please include herbal remedies and supplemen Make a written list of all medications, including the dosages of each. Please provide this list to your Medical Assistant to assure that we have a complete and accurate record of your current medications.
- Make a written list of your medical history, such as prior treatments, surgeries or allergies --- even those not related to your current problem.
- Make a list of your concerns about your condition.
Consider asking a friend or family member to accompany you. If you need a translator, ask another adult to come with you; do not rely on a child to translate.
At The Doctor's Office
- Be honest and complete in talking with your doctor. Share your point of view and don’t hold back information about issues such as incontinence, memory loss, sex or other issues you might consider embarrassing.
- Stick to the point. Keep the dialogue focused on your care to get the most out of your time with the doctor.
- Take notes on what the doctor tells you and ask questions if you don’t understand the meaning of a word or the instructions for taking medication
- Fill out the Review of Systems form, this will help your doctor understand what your concerns are today.
- Ask what to expect from your treatment, what effect it will have on your daily activities and what you can do to prevent unpleasant side effect
- Ask for handouts or brochures that you and your family can review at home. Your doctor may refer you to our website or other internet web site for more information.
- Talk to other members of the health care team, such as physician assistants and nurse
- We may have you fill out a family history form.
When You Check Out
- After you have seen the doctor, your Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) will schedule any follow-up appointments that have been ordered. Most diagnostic testing can be scheduled to be done at our facility, but some tests may need to be scheduled at outside facilitie Your PCC will attempt to schedule all of your appointments while you are in the office. Occasionally, they may need to call you later with an appointment time that could not be confirmed at the time of your visit.
- If you wish to have tests performed at another location, you may certainly do so. The PCC will provide you with a list of options. We must now, by law, have you sign a form that helps you understand your options before every imaging appoinment.
- If you need to schedule chemotherapy or infusion, you might be directed to the Infusion Room Schedule
- If you have any questions, make sure that you ask them at this time. On your first visit, you will be given an appointment with one of the Financial Counselors. They will be able to answer questions about your insurance coverage and payment for services related to your care.
When You Get Home
- Review the materials the doctor gave you. If you can’t remember something, or if you don’t understand your notes, call the office and speak to a member of your health care team.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions. Take the full course of medication and be sure you follow the prescribed diet. Remember, that you and your family are an integral part of your health care team.
- Keep your doctor informed of any change in your condition as he/she requested. Please keep a list of any upcoming appointments at our clinic. Please call the office if any appointments need to be rescheduled to better accommodate your needs.
If You Feel That Something May Be Wrong:
Do Not Wait Until You Are Sick – Call Us First
This is one of the most important parts of our Oncology Medical Home. As soon as you feel something may be wrong, call us at 505-842-8171. Your call will immediately be transferred to one of our trained oncology triage nurses, who will ask you a series of questions designed to help us determine the best course of action for your care. If they determine that you may need emergency hospital care, they will arrange for you to go to the hospital. But our goal is to keep you out of the hospital and get you the right treatment as quickly as possible. Most patients who call will receive an immediate appointment at the Cancer Center, where any necessary lab and imaging test will be done, you will be seen by one of our doctors or advanced practice clinicians, and started on any necessary treatment.
This process has proven again and again to be the best way to care for our patients, getting treatment started before a problem gets worse, avoiding exposure to hospital infections, and allowing you to be cared for in our Cancer Center while you recover at home.