Keeping your bearings

“Seeing all these specialists, I feel quite lost. Who can help me undersand?”

The examinations, treatments and tests introduce you to many new people and a new environment. You may not keep track of all their special roles and even of all the vocabulary. You may find yourself repeating the same information at each new appointment. It’s normal to feel lost. To keep your bearings, it is important to touch base frequently with your treating doctor.

  • Your general practitioner or treating doctor remains your first port of call. He or she knows you best and can contact other colleagues with additional information if you so wish. He or she will keep you informed throughout your treatment, giving you information on the illness, the roles of the various specialists and the methods of treatment. Don’t hesitate to give your GP/treating doctor’s name to the other doctors and ask them to forward the information about you to him/her, for further explanation to you later on if required.
  • In hospital, you have two designated contacts: a doctor in charge of your treatment; and an allocated nurse. Together they monitor your treatment and keep you informed. You can ask them any questions you may have.
  • By offering you a listening ear and providing information, the support organizations can be invaluable (see List of resources).
  • Finally, books on your specific illness may also prove useful. The Health Documentation Centre has many books which it lends out or keeps on the premises for reference (lire la List of resources).
Last update : 25/02/2019