Preparing for Your Appointment

Get More Information

To find out more about neuroscience care and treatment at the Cottage Health's Neuroscience Institute (SBNI), or to request an appointment, please call our neuroscience care center at 1-844-282-7246.

Help ensure you experience a smooth, productive first visit to the Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute at Cottage Health by following these tips.

Rely on Your Nurse Navigator

Turn to your nurse navigator, your advocate and liaison to the health care team, for guidance:

  • Setting up appointments
  • Arranging care
  • Learning about your condition and treatment options
  • Communicating with other medical professionals
  • Finding local resources and support

Schedule Your First Visit

Ask your nurse navigator to help you get the medical records we need and arrange to send them to us. After we review your records, you’ll receive a call to schedule an appointment.

Prepare Your Questions

Before your first appointment, do some basic research about brain tumors or spine tumors so you better understand what your doctor tells you. Ask your physician questions, such as:

  • What kind of tumor do I likely have?
    • Is it primary or metastatic?
    • Is it benign or malignant?
  • What are my treatment options?
    • Do the treatment options have side effects?
    • How would each treatment affect my quality of life?
    • How do you think I'll respond to a certain treatment?
    • If one treatment doesn't work as well as predicted, are there other options?
    • Which treatment would you choose if you have my tumor?
  • Who would you recommend I go to for a second opinion?
  • If I have more questions, how can I reach you?

Bring Information With You

When you come to your appointment, bring:

  • A list of medications you take and the prescribed doses
  • A notebook and pen or electronic device to record what your doctor says
  • Names and phone numbers of all your physicians
  • Results of relevant imaging tests
  • Your allergy information
  • Your health insurance card and referral information
  • Your list of questions to ask
  • Address and phone number where you’re staying, if you’re from out of town

Make Hotel Arrangements

If you don’t live in the Santa Barbara area, ask our Concierge Services staff to help you make hotel arrangements, find a restaurant or get driving directions. Call 805-682-7111 Ext. 52889 or email

Jessica's Return to Dance

Cottage Health Neuroscience Institute - Video GalleryWatch videos from patients, doctors and surgeons to learn more about the Cottage Health - Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute