My First Appointment
As a new patient at Virginia Oncology Associates, we want you to feel comfortable, cared for and informed. Prior to your first visit and to reduce your wait time, we ask that you print and complete our new patient forms in their entirety, and bring them to your first appointment. Please be prepared to discuss these items with your physician.
We recommend you bring another person with you to your first appointment, which may last one hour or more.
Your first appointment may include the following:
- New patient evaluation with your physician
- Any additional lab tests needed for accurate diagnosis to help guide your treatment
- Meeting the nurses, medical assistants, and other members of your healthcare team
- Meeting with your patient benefits representative (PBR). PBRs are located in every office to assist patients with the financial side of their diaganois. Our Patient Benefits team will provide and connect you with valuable resources, as well as help you understand your current insurance benefits.
Services available through the PBR team:
- Ensuring our patients and their families understand their coverage benefits and can access those benefits.
- Provide clarity on your billed charges and payment expectations.
- Determine if financial assistance is needed and provide support to access needed benefits.
- Assist with access to supportive financial foundations and organizations.
- Provide follow-up and ongoing financial support throughout your time at VOA.
If this appointment is for a second opinion, it will follow many of the same steps as a new patient evaluation. That’s because we want to learn as much as we can about you before reviewing any other treatment plans or recommendations.
Before you arrive, or when you arrive, you’ll complete a new patient form.
For second opinions you should also bring with you:
- Your medical records that include the diagnosis and stage
- Most recent blood test results
- Any images such as CTs, MRIs or PET Scans
- Biopsy results
- The treatment plan that’s been recommended
During your appointment you’ll have a discussion with one of our medical oncologist. If there is any information that they need which is not in your records they’ll order the test to be done and then you can discuss together what the doctor would recommend.
Feel free to bring someone with you who can take notes and help you remember what is discussed. This will help you feel more confident when it’s time to choose an oncology team.
Remember, our doctors will never be offended if you do not choose them as your cancer care provider. They want what’s best for you so please choose the practice where you feel most comfortable.
What You Should Know About Cancer Treatment and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Dr. Gradon Nielsen, a medical oncologist from Virginia Oncology Associates, answers common questions about the safety and effectiveness of taking the vaccine while undergoing cancer treatment. It is important for cancer patients to receive the vaccine as they run a higher risk for COVID. Watch this video to learn more about the best time to take the vaccine based on your cancer treatment plan and if you still need it if you have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19.