First Appointment

Your First Appointment

Now offering virtual visits!

As we begin resuming time-sensitive care, we also understand that safety is the primary focus in everyone’s mind. The safety of our patients and team members is always our top priority at Karmanos. We want to assure you that patients at Karmanos are being treated in a safe environment by personnel who are adhering to the most current safety standards. Learn more about safe care at Karmanos here.

We understand some patients may still not feel fully comfortable going to in-person clinic visits. That's why, for you convenience and increased social distancing, we are now offering virtual visits for:

  • Newly-diagnosed patients
  • Returning patients
  • Active surveillance
  • Clinical trials

Please call 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266) to learn more about virtual visits.

Your First Visit

At the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, we understand how confusing life feels right now, and we want to make sure you are as prepared as possible for your first appointment. We have outlined what you should expect at your visit with us, but please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-800-527-6266 at any time with questions or concerns. We are committed to providing you with the best patient experience and most comprehensive care available.

Medical Authorization

  • Prior to your first appointment we need to have you complete and send us the Authorization to Release Medical Information form.
  • This is required by federal law for obtaining your medical records.
  • Karmanos will then contact your previous physicians to obtain the medical information necessary to review your case.
  • If you do not wish to sign the authorization form, we will need you to bring to your first appointment all of the information listed in the last bullet point in the What to Bring section below.
  • Failure to provide all of your past medical records for your first appointment may require you to come back for a second appointment. Karmanos physicians cannot perform a complete and comprehensive consultation without all of your past medical records.

Health History Questionnaire

Please complete this form before your appointment. You can fill it out online and submit it directly to our patient concierge, or print the form and complete prior to your appointment then bring with you to your first appointment. (A printed version is included with your mailed appointment confirmation packet.) When you arrive, let us know if you completed it online or have the completed from with you.

Online Form (preferred method)
Print Version (PDF) 

What to Bring

  • Your COMPLETED Health History Questionnaire. You may fill it out and submit the questionnaire online or download a copy to complete and bring with you to your first appointment.
  • Picture identification
  • Insurance card
  • Insurance referral (if applicable)
  • Office/co
  • Book, iPod, iPad or any other materials to help pass time. Karmanos Cancer Center offers free Wi-Fi
  • If you did not complete and submit the Authorization to Release Medical Information form, you need to bring the following with you to your appointment:
    • Pathology reports
    • Most recent scans – CT, PET, MRI, Bone Scan, etc. on CD in DICOM format along with reports
    • All labs
    • Previous cancer treatment including chemotherapy and/or radiation flow sheets
    • List of all past prescriptions
    • Surgeon, Medical or Radiation Oncologist name(s) and contact information
    • Please Note: In some cases the provider will require all of your medical records be submitted to Karmanos prior to your first appointment. This will ensure that you are scheduled with the appropriate provider. 

What to Expect

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete the registration process.
  • Please use our valet parking. A complimentary valet pass will be included in your appointment confirmation packet.
  • Check in at the information desk located in the main lobby. A representative from Karmanos will notify the Patient Service Representative of your arrival.
  • You will meet with a Patient Service Representative to complete the registration process and handle your payment.
  • When completed, a Patient Navigator will escort you to the check-in area for your appointment. You will be asked to be asked to take a seat in the waiting area until you are called into an exam room.
  • Once escorted to the exam room, your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and respiratory rate will be taken by a staff member.
  • A nurse, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant will review your health history with you and may ask additional questions to obtain necessary information for the physician.
  • Following your meeting with the physician, further tests or a treatment plan may be recommended.

Questions to Ask Your Physician

  • What is my exact diagnosis?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What do you recommend? What would physicians in other specialties recommend?
  • What are the side effects and complications of the treatment(s)? How often do they occur? Can they be avoided or treated?
  • How long will I have to be treated?
  • What lifestyle changes should I expect – diet, occupation, etc.?
  • Am I eligible for a clinical trial (research study)? If so, what is the goal of the study?
  • Can I have my case reviewed by a multidisciplinary team?
  • How many patients with my diagnosis do you see? May I speak with some of them?
  • What can I expect for short- and long-term quality of life?
  • What should I be doing for my family/loved ones?
  • What services are available for us?

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