While You're Here
Knowing what to expect during your first visit can ease any fears and anxieties you may have. At MD Anderson, we have a variety of team members who are here for you.
Your International Patient Assistant will provide you with a Patient Appointment Letter (PAL) that will detail your appointment schedule. The PAL will contain the date and time of each appointment, and it will provide you with the location for each appointment. Location details will include the building, floor and elevator that will help you find your way around MD Anderson. The following tools may also help:
Please remember that your first appointment will be to register as a new patient in your designated center. A specialist from your center’s Patient Access Services department will take you to an interview room to complete the registration process and answer any questions you may have. If you have not paid in advance, the initial deposit or insurance deductible will be collected at this time. Once registration is complete, you will proceed with your evaluation.
Your first appointment will be in an outpatient center where you will obtain an evaluation without being admitted to the hospital. Remember that the length of your evaluation will depend on any additional tests and consultation needed to assess your condition and plan your treatment. Unless you’ve been told otherwise, it is fine for you to have a meal before arriving for your first visit. Additionally, although your home physician may have sent test results to us, some tests may have to be repeated or additional tests done because our doctors need specific information to make critical decisions.
Please be patient if you do not see your physician promptly at the scheduled appointment time. Emergencies or other circumstances can sometimes cause our physicians to be delayed, which may result in a longer wait time than you have anticipated. You should expect your first day to be very busy. Ask your clinic to notify your next appointment if you are running late.
Your International Patient Assistant would like to personally welcome you to MD Anderson, whether it’s in your clinic or in the International Center. Feel free to stop by our comfortable and relaxing International Center offices for assistance or to enjoy coffee and refreshments.
MD Anderson pioneered the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care in which teams of specialized physicians from various disciplines (radiation oncology, medical oncology and surgical oncology) meet to discuss your care. Our multidisciplinary care centers bring together many of the people and services needed to provide your care. This means that specialists from various areas and disciplines may be involved in planning your treatment, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses. You may also be cared for by a medical resident or fellow before your physician arrives.
Members that may be part of your Health Care Team include:
- Medical Oncologist is a physician who is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and who specializes in the use of chemotherapy and other drugs to treat cancer.
- Surgical Oncologist is a physician who specializes in using surgery to treat cancer.
- Radiation Oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer patients, using radiation as the main modality of treatment.
- Medical Resident or Fellow is a physician who has received a medical degree (MD, DO, MBBS, MBChB) and who practices medicine under the supervision of fully licensed physicians.
- Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed specific advanced nursing education (generally a master degree or doctoral degree) and training in medical care.
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APN) are registered nurses with advanced didactic and clinical education, knowledge, skills and scope of practice.
- Physician Assistant (PA) is a healthcare professional licensed to practice medicine with supervision of a licensed physician
- Clinical Nurse is a healthcare professional who, in collaboration with other members of a health care team, also manages patient care.
- Social Worker is a healthcare professional who can assist with individual and family counseling, information about support and educational groups and referral to community resources.
- Case Manager is a healthcare professional who can assist with coordinating inpatient care, dealing with health insurance issues, arranging home health care and medical equipment and discharge planning
- Patient Advocate is a professional who helps patients resolve problems.
- Patient Services Coordinator (PSC) is a professional who assists patients with the scheduling of their appointments.
- Patient Access Specialist (PAS) is a professional who assists patients with financial issues regarding health care coverage, finances and managed care.
- Chaplaincy provides a variety of denominational and non-denominational pastoral resources.
MD Anderson also offers a variety of services to help you during your treatment.
What to Expect
Contact the International Center
Our Global Culture
Meet Cali Hatzisavvas-Sokol
Patient Advocate Coordinator, Patient Advocacy
The part I enjoy most about my job is patient contact. I understand that each and every patient has a story to be told and heard. Knowing that I could possibly make a small difference in a patient’s life by fulfilling a request, a need or reaching a resolution to a challenge, is rewarding for me. Visit Patient Advocacy.
Our Global Culture
Meet Meide Liu
Acupuncturist, Place…of Wellness
Place…of Wellness is an environment where all persons touched by cancer may enhance their quality of life through programs that complement medical care and focus on the mind, body and spirit. Our Integrative Medicine Clinic, located in Place…of Wellness, provides advice to patients who wish to integrate complementary and integrative medicine into their conventional cancer care. The team includes physicians, acupuncturist, information specialists, massage therapists, mind-body specialists, music therapist, nutritionist and spiritual counselor. At MD Anderson, we started to treat patients with acupuncture, a medical technique from traditional Chinese medicine, in 2004. Most patients experience side effects from traditional treatment, so my job is to reduce or eliminate the side effects using acupuncture treatment. Research has shown that acupuncture may stimulate the natural healing process to restore health and well-being, and in fact, most patients get benefit from acupuncture for their symptoms such as pain, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, dry mouth, hot flashes, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and stress.
Our Global Culture
Meet Christiana Liem
Staff Chaplain, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Education
I have the honor to meet with patients and caregivers from different walks of life and faith journeys. As a chaplain, I don’t have any agenda when I visit a patient. I may have a short or a long visit depending on the patient’s situation and needs. My job is to listen, to empathize, to walk alongside without any judgments and to respond to a patient’s or caregiver’s needs. While cancer is a very bad disease, patients and caregivers are precious human beings. Patients and caregivers teach me about life, challenges, and blessings.