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Headache Center
Appointment Request

To make an appointment, please ask your primary care doctor to fax a referral to the UCSF Headache Center at (415) 353-9539 or email us at referral@headache.ucsf.edu and include the following:

  • Your name, address and phone number
  • Recent imaging and lab reports
  • Medical notes
  • Copy of your health insurance card (front and back)
  • Authorization letter from your primary care doctor, if your insurance plan requires

After our doctors review the referral information, we will contact you to make an appointment and will send you a new patient questionnaire.

Please contact your insurance company to find out if you need an authorization from your primary care doctor to see our specialists. If you need authorization and haven't obtained it within 48 hours of your appointment, you will be asked to pay for your visit or you may reschedule the appointment.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Please bring the following:

  • Completed new patient questionnaire
  • List of your current and past medications
  • Copy of your recent imaging and lab reports

Before your appointment, please keep a diary or journal to track your headaches. The information you provide will help your doctor determine the kind of headache you have as well as ways to prevent your headaches or treat them once they occur.

In your headache diary, please note:

  • Days and times headaches occur
  • How long the headaches last
  • What you were doing before the headaches began
  • What you ate or drank before the headaches began
  • Treatments used including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies or other treatments
  • Severity and location of pain
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or stomach upset, auras or other visual symptoms
  • The impact the headaches have had on your life, such as days lost from work, family events missed, etc

Your First Appointment

Your first appointment will be about one hour. Your doctor will evaluate your headache history and review your past medical treatments. You may be seen by a nurse to review your medical plan and provide additional information.

After your appointment, please follow up with your primary care doctor to discuss the recommendations made by the headache specialist. We will send a letter with our recommendations to your other doctors, at your request.

Your treatment plan will depend on your condition. To help us provide the best possible treatment, please maintain your headache diary and bring it to future appointments.

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Dr. Amy Gelfand,
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