Your First Visit
Before Your Appointment
We want your first visit with us to be as productive as possible. Please make arrangements for your medical records to be delivered and complete the following forms before your first visit.
Send Pertinent Medical Records
Please make sure any pertinent medical records are sent before your appointment to the address on the right. This will allow our team to review your history prior to your scheduled time with us.
Complete Headache Questionnaire
It is important you take the time to print out and answer our headache questionnaire before your first appointment. This will help ensure you have the full time allotted for your extensive evaluation and provide us a thorough understanding of your medical and headache history to reach the proper diagnosis. If you need a hard copy of the questionnaire mailed to you, please call our office at 617-278-8080, at least a few weeks prior to your first appointment so that you will have enough time to fill it out.
Complete Headache Diary
A headache diary is a place for you to write down details about your headaches such as date and time, severity on a scale of 1 to 10, and preceding symptoms. By keeping track of your headaches over a period of time, a headache diary can help you figure out your triggers so you can avoid them in the future. If you have been having recurring headaches, we encourage you to print out and use a headache diary for several weeks before your visit. If you need a hard copy of the headache diary mailed to you, please call us at 617-278-8080, at least a few weeks prior to your first appointment so that you will have enough time to record the information.
What to Bring
We want your first visit with us to be as productive as possible. Please bring the following to your first appointment:
- Pertinent medical records such as:
- Notes from your primary care provider regarding the headaches
- Imaging study films -- including CT scans, MRIs and X-rays -- along with radiology reports
- Sleep study results
- Laboratory studies
- Optometry or ophthalmology evaluation
- Electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram or cardiology evaluation
- Completed headache questionnaire
- Completed headache diary
- Insurance card
What to Expect
With our integrated, holistic approach to treatment, focus on prevention, and clinical and research facility clearly created for the headache patient, our team of headache specialists will make every effort to ensure that your journey for relief ends here.
Soothing Environment and Compassionate Care
When you visit the Comprehensive Headache Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, you will see that our headache specialists designed the facility keeping the unique needs of our patients in mind every step of the way. From the darkened waiting room to the spacious exam rooms, we are here to provide you with the best compassionate care in headache medicine.
Extensive Evaluation and Patient Education
You will receive an extensive evaluation with Carolyn Bernstein, MD, a neurologist specializing in headache medicine. Together, you will review your completed headache questionnaire, your headache diary and any medical records you have.
You can expect to receive a great deal of information about your particular condition as well as possible treatment options. The information may include a preventative plan as well as what to do when a severe headache hits.
Individualized Treatment Plan
Dr. Bernstein will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that may include:
Questions to Ask
Feel free to ask any question that's on your mind, no matter how small it might seem. You may want to write down a list of questions prior to your visit and bring it with you.
Here are some questions you may want to ask our headache specialists:
- Can an over-the-counter pain reliever help with my headaches, or do you recommend a prescription drug?
- Please tell me about the drug you are prescribing. Why did you choose this drug? What are its possible side effects?
- Can you recommend any non-drug treatments to help with my headaches?
- Are there any lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, etc.) I can make to help with my headaches?
- Should I continue to keep a headache diary to bring to my next appointment?
- Can I get in to see you immediately if I'm in really bad shape with a headache?
- What should I do if I get a really bad headache?