Frequently Asked Questions
- Q After Hours Care
- A We would like to reinforce how much we value our patients, and wish to provide you access to urgent care within the clinic to the maximum extent possible. Whether you see your own family physician, or another family physician or nurse practitioner here, we believe that this is the best place for you and your family to be treated. Our health care providers offer urgent care hours Monday to Thursday evenings from 5 pm-7:30 pm and Saturdays from 8-11 am every week. These appointments are reserved for your acute illness only and are accessed by calling the office that day. Calling early (phone lines open at 8:30 am – 519-938-8000) will allow the best opportunity to obtain one of these urgent care spots. We do make every effort to see as many patients as possible in these after-hours clinics. In addition, qualified nurses can provide valuable information and advice by accessing the Telephone Health Advisory at 1-866-553-7205, which is available weekdays from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays. Offsite walk-in-clinics, while convenient, will not have the same access to your medical history, medications and allergies. In addition, there is no record of your visit or the treatment provided, which puts your family physician at a disadvantage when following-up with you at a future date, particularly if you experience complications of your illness. For these many reasons, we ask that you try to contact us first when searching for urgent care in the future.
- Q Preparing for your First Visit
- A Things to bring to the appointment: Health card, personal identification - you will be asked for your OHIP card at each visit Any updated information regarding changes in address, phone number, work number or new OHIP card info If it is your first visit with us, please make sure you bring details of your previous family physician (name, address, phone number/fax number) and arrive 10-15 minutes early, as there will be paperwork for you to fill out A list of all medications you're currently taking, including prescription drugs and non-prescription medications, as well as any vitamins, supplements, herbal and homeopathic remedies. If in doubt, bring in all your medications in a bag so that your physician can review them. A list of other health professionals you've recently consulted, why you went to see them, and what they told you Before you arrive, be sure you know: Which doctor you will be seeing Why you are coming to see them Some appointments (such as physicals, prenatal visits, certain bloodwork) will require preparation such as fasting, or may require you to provide us with a urine sample – please ask the receptionist at the time of booking your appointment if this applies to your visit
- Q Should I be immunized before I travel?
- A Unfortunately the clinic is no longer consulting or prescribing for travel health issues if the destination in question is exotic. Exotic places would include countries outside of North Americaor the Caribbean and places that would require RX for malaria and typhoid. The clinic has never and will never administer immunization against Yellow Fever. We are, at the moment, continuing to prescribe and administer Hep A and Hep A+B vaccines only if there is space available. Due to the high volume of patients last minute injections before travel cannot always be accommodated and we recommend contacting a clinic that specializes in travel medicine. View a complete list of travel clinics in Ontario; http://www.tbefacts.com/travel-clinics/ontario/index.html
- Q What preventative screening tests are recommended for men and women?
- A One of the most important jobs physicians have is trying to prevent disease before it starts, or catching it early enough to treat it easily. That is why we recommend certain tests or immunizations in order to keep our patients healthy. Screening Tests Generally Considered Useful While many different types of tests exist, not all are useful at detecting disease accurately and early. That is why only certain types of tests are recommended by physicians. It is important that you come to your physician regularly for general physical examinations, as it is difficult to fit in discussions on screening tests into your regular visit. TESTS FOR WOMEN Mammogram This is a screening test to detect breast cancer. This test is recommended every 1-2 years for all women over the age of 50 (earlier in some women who have a family history of breast cancer, especially at young ages, or for those who have had breast problems at a younger age). It is best combined with an annual physical so that a physician can check the breasts for growths or masses. Please click on the link below for a good summary regarding breast cancer and screening tests http://www.cancercare.on.ca/index_breastScreeningandMammography.htm Pap Smear This is a screening test to detect cervical cancer. This test is recommended every 1-3 years for all women from the age of sexual activity to age 70. Most forms of cervical cancer are caused by a virus that is very commonly found in society, and a vaccine is now available. Please click on the link below for a good summary regarding cervial cancer and screening tests http://www.cancercare.on.ca/index_screeningCervicalFAQs.htm Stool Occult Blood Testing This is one type of screening test for the detection of colorectal (bowel) cancer. This test of three separate stool samples is recommended every 2 years for both men and women over age 50. Patients with first-degree relatives who have had colorectal cancer, or polyps of the bowel should forego this testing and have a colonoscopy instead. This is true also of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and other types of bowel abnormalities. Please speak with your physician to decide which type of screening is best for you. Please click on the link below for a good summary regarding colorectal cancer and screening tests http://www.cancercare.on.ca/index_colorectalScreening.htm#factsheets TESTS FOR MEN PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) Testing – CONTROVERSIAL!! This is one method screening test for the detection of prostate cancer. This blood test is offered annually to men over age 50 (and younger if there is a positive family history). This test is controversial. It is not as accurate as some of the other screening tests, therefore there is a risk of undergoing unnecessary investigations for a false positive test (or, having a false sense of security from a false negative test). It is for this reason that the Ontario government does not cover the cost of this test. There is also controversy because many older men may have prostate cancer but will ultimately die of another illness. It is therefore difficult to know if the treatment for prostate cancer (which has its own side effects) is truly warranted. The PSA test is best combined with an annual rectal examination by your physician(as part of a general physical). Please speak with your physician to decide whether PSA testing is a good choice for you. Please click on the link below for a good summary regarding colorectal cancer and screening tests http://www.healthyontario.com/Conditions/P/Prostate_Cancer.htm Stool Occult Blood Testing This is one type of screening test for the detection of colorectal (bowel) cancer. This test of three separate stool samples is recommended every 2 years for both men and women over age 50. Patients with first-degree relatives who have had colorectal cancer, or polyps of the bowel should forego this testing and have a colonoscopy instead. This is true also of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and other types of bowel abnormalities. Please speak with your physician to decide which type of screening is best for you. Please click on the link below for a good summary regarding colorectal cancer and screening tests http://www.cancercare.on.ca/index_colorectalScreening.htm#factsheets
- Q How do I know if I am enrolled?
- A You are an enrolled patient if you have filled out a form and have given to the receptionist at your doctors office. If you're not sure if you are an enrolled patient, ask the receptionist.
- Q Can I go to a walk-in clinic?
- A If you have enrolled in our Family Health Network, we want you to see one of our doctors or nurse practitioners. We may have access to your medical records, to know your medication history and allergies and we will always forward a note from your visit to your family doctor. This will not happen if you go to a walk-in clinic.
- Q How can I get a family doctor?
- A All patients in the area that are looking for a new physician should be registered with Health Care Connect. This can be done by calling 1-866-330-6206 or via the web. We will not accept new patients request from patients that call or arrive at the office.
Important Phone Numbers
Dufferin Area Family Health Team
519-938-8802 ext. 314
Hospital - Headwaters Health Care Centre
Poison Control Center