Parent Guide


When your child is diagnosed, the first step to getting the right care for your son or daughter is choosing the right medical center and doctor. Here are some important tips for making the right physician-family match to ensure the best possible outcome. Ask yourself:

  1. Is the doctor a board-certified pediatric oncologist?
  2. Has he or she established a good rapport with children and my child in particular?
  3. Does he/she answer my questions patiently, and is he/she easy to understand?
  4. Does he/she value my input and respect my ideas?
  5. Has the doctor had experience treating other children with the same type of cancer my child has?
  6. Should my child go to a specialized childhood cancer center, and is there one in our region?
  7. Does the local hospital have a team of people dedicated to pediatric oncology patients? If so, are there child-life specialists, social workers, financial advisors, home healthcare specialists, a range of other pediatric specialists and oncology nurses on staff?
  8. Does my health plan cover the cost of care in the facility and the cost of the professionals on my child's care team?
  9. Does the medical center have access to new treatments and research?
  10. Can we take a tour of the hospital before my child goes to stay?
  11. Are there facilities available nearby should the family want to stay overnight? Can I stay in the hospital with my child when I wish?
  12. Are there convenient outpatient offices?
  13. Are there special programs for my child's emotional needs, such as art therapy or a playroom? Are there resources for families such as support groups or an activity room?