What to Expect
Someone will call you to give you a time for your first appointment at the Head and Neck Centre.
Learn more about preparing for your first appointment in the Guide to Princess Margaret »
What to Bring
CD or DVD of your imaging studies.
Your referring doctor may give you a CD or DVD of imaging studies you may have had done such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs or ultrasounds . If so, it is very important to bring this CD or DVD with you.
List of all medications you are currently taking.
This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies.
See also: My First Appointment at UHN »
Medications that you need to take.
Appointments can take several hours. Bring with you any medications you normally take during the day.
A trusted friend or family member.
A friend or family member can give you emotional support and can help you make good choices. They can also help you gather information, take notes and ask questions.
Questions to ask.
Bring a list of questions to your appointment to help you remember everything you want to ask.
See also: Treatment Decision-Making and Questions to Ask »
Learn more about what to bring to your appointment
When You Arrive
The first person you meet at the Wharton Head and Neck Centre is the Patient Flow Coordinator.
Next, a volunteer will help you fill out the DART self-assessment. DART stands for Distress Assessment and Response Tool. DART asks about your experiences with common physical symptoms, practical concerns and emotional concerns. Your health care team uses your answers to track how you are doing and to make sure your most important concerns are looked after.
Learn more about DART »
Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire
You will be given a form to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have.
The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you chose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
How Long Will Your Appointment Be?
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments.
- First appointments can take 2 hours or more. After your visit to the clinic, you will likely go to the Blood Collection Lab for blood tests.
Find out where to get your blood drawn at UHN »
- Follow-up appointments usually take 30 minutes.
We do our best to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays. For example, make sure your arrangements for things like babysitting, elder care and parking can accommodate a longer than usual appointment.
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Before You Leave
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, the nurse will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are there to help you.
Other resources that you may find helpful:
The Cancer Journey Resources include a personal guidebook and planner. These resources are available to all new patients at the Princess Margaret. You can pick up a free copy from your clinic or at the Princess Margaret Patient & Family Library. The Cancer Journey Guide Book and Planner are also available online or on the Princess Margaret Journey App.
Learn more about the Cancer Journey Resources »
My Surgery Binder is an information guide and personal-care tool to help you prepare for surgery and for the healing time that follows surgery.
About Phone Calls
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so clinic staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients.
We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly – and you do not have an answering machine for us to leave a message – you may need to call us again.