My Approach to Your Health
As a family physician, I hope to help prevent disease as much as I aim to treat it. Screening tests can be an important component of preventative health. You may decide not to pursue every screening test, but I need to make sure you are aware of the different screening tests and vaccinations available. This is especially important if you are 50 years of age or older, have a chronic medical condition, or have a family history of health issues.
I order bloodwork or other tests in certain situations to aid in making a diagnosis, to see if a medical problem is stable or to monitor treatment progress. Please complete your tests in a timely manner. Many medical problems do not need bloodwork or other tests. If you have any questions about this, please ask during your appointment.
Booking an Appointment
Please call the office to book an appointment. Knowing the reason for your visit helps us to be prepared and to plan the schedule to prevent you from waiting as much as possible. Sometimes we will not be able to address all of your health concerns in one visit. Most visits are scheduled for 15 minutes and this typically allows for the assessment of one major or two minor health issues. I do my best to stay on time for all of my patients, so sometimes you may need to make a follow-up appointment to make sure we give your concerns the attention they deserve.
Missed / Late Appointments
Unfortunately, many people in the Woodstock area still lack access to a regular family doctor. While I understand that things may happen that cause you to miss an appointment last minute, I do request that you call the clinic at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment to cancel or rebook. Being late for your appointments makes it difficult to ensure other patients are seen on time; if you arrive more than half-way through your scheduled appointment, you may have to rebook. A $60 fee applies to missed appointments. Frequent missed appointments or late arrivals may result in your dismissal from my practice.
Bring a valid health card to each clinic visit. If your health card is not valid there is a 40 dollar charge. This fee must be paid prior to your visit by debit, credit card or in cash. A receipt will be provided to you. Visit a Service Ontario location to renew your health card. If you renew your health card within a week, call the new health card number into the clinic. We will validate the number and issue you a full refund.
My office hours are currently Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. As part of my practice, I also work at the hospital which may affect my availability. These hours are subject to change without notice. For extended vacations and other leaves of absence, I may have another physician cover for me. If you have a serious illness that cannot wait, you may see a physician at the emergency department. I will soon be joining a group of doctors who provide after hours care to patients on all week nights. Additional details will be updated on our website when available.
Same Day Appointments
If you have need of an urgent appointment, you may call the clinic in the morning to arrange an appointment. These appointments are NOT to be used for routine health visits such as prescription refills, blood pressure checks, etc. We only have a limited number of same day appointments per day so be sure to call early.
I ask that you come to our clinic rather than visit another walk-in clinic. Other walk-in clinics do not provide us with any information and affect my ability to coordinate your care and follow-up on any tests ordered.
Harassment and Aggressive or Violent Behaviour
Our relationship moving forward is based on mutual respect and trust. I have a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment, threatening, aggressive, or violent behaviour towards myself or any of the staff at the clinic. Failure to respect this policy WILL result in immediate dismissal from the practice.
I only prescribe antibiotics for significant bacterial illnesses. For example, the common cold (upper respiratory tract infection) is caused by many viruses that give us those unpleasant symptoms of a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and congestion. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses, and do not treat the common cold. I do not prescribe antibiotics for colds or for other viral illnesses, such as the majority of cases of bronchitis (chest colds) or gastroenteritis (diarrhea). I will use my clinical judgment and appropriate tests to determine when to prescribe an antibiotic.
I will always do my best to prescribe enough medication to last until your next checkup. I will need to see you in person for an appointment before providing another prescription. In some situations, we will be able to extend the time between checkups or do refills via fax, but as I get to know you, I may need to see you more frequently than your previous doctor. Please pay attention to your medication and plan ahead so you do not run out of your medications.
Narcotics (Opioid) Medications
I rarely prescribe narcotic (opioid) medications (Percocet, Oxycocet, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, Morphine, Tylenol #3, etc.). These medications are only appropriate in a few situations and come with a high risk of side effects, including addiction. I will not prescribe narcotic medications in most cases; for new patients already on high doses of narcotics, I will initiate a supervised reduction to reach safe and appropriate doses. Other medications, such as benzodiazepines, may also be prescribed judiciously. When I prescribe these medications, I have every patient sign a narcotics agreement and participate in regular drug testing. Any breach of the agreement may result in loss of access to prescription narcotics and possible dismissal from my practice.
Your Past Medical Records
I often find it helpful to obtain copies of your past medical records, especially if you have any significant medical issues. This can be done by completing an authorization to release information form at the front desk. The front desk staff will then send the form to your previous doctor(s) and/or hospital(s) to request the information. Sometimes your past doctor(s) and/or hospital(s) charge a fee to you for this service. You are responsible for paying this fee. However, this information can be important to your health care. Bringing copies of your chart in advance is appreciated!
The government covers most, but not all, medical treatments and services. Some common examples of services which are not covered include forms for school, work, or insurance purposes, Driver’s Physicals, cosmetic procedures (eg. skin tag removal, some wart treatments), TB skin testing, some vaccinations, travel medicine advice, etc. I will inform you of the cost in advance. A copy of these fees is available and is subject to change without notice. You are responsible for the payment of these services.
If you have a form to be filled out, please let the staff know when you book your appointment. Please make sure that you fill out all of the sections that are “To be filled out by the applicant”. Most forms cannot be filled out at the time of the visit. Usually, forms can be filled out within 1-2 weeks, but it depends on the form. Please allow plenty of time for me to complete your forms. If I do not feel that I have enough information about your condition to make judgements about your ability to work, I may request a specialist’s opinion. Payment is to be made in advance of release of any forms.