Frequently Asked Questions
Are you taking new patients?
Do you take insurance?
Yes, I take most major insurance. Please visit my insurance page for details.
Why is your practice in your house rather than a medical office building?
I created my practice in 2001 having worked the previous 14 years in more typical medical settings—a private small group medical practice and before that a Health Department clinic. My small solo practice is much more personally satisfying than being in a group practice in a medical office building.
I love the privacy and quiet that I can offer my patients. I could rent or buy offices in a Medical Building, but I find such spaces to be cold and impersonal with limited sound separation. My home based office (yes my home is above my office) offers me a professional space that is very quiet, private and comfortable.
Gynecology care is by it’s nature very personal. My patients often comment on how relaxed and safe they feel in my office. By having no front staff or nursing support, there are no layers between my patients and myself. I personally answer all my messages. I am available by email. I directly inform you of your tests results. Doing all of my own patient follow up gives a level of personal connection that is very satisfying to both myself and my patients.
I schedule hour long visits for all routine annual exams and all but the most minor problem visits. I value time I spend with my patients; to listen, to explore and to help them work towards their optimum health. This is what I love about my work—understanding the individual and helping her find her own path to health and well-being- this is the true essence of holistic healthcare: mind, body and spirit. The time I give each woman is my choice and is not typical in modern medical care.
The care I give and the relaxed, safe, professional environment in which I give it, is difficult to imagine in any other setting.
What does your office look like??
Can you write prescriptions?
Yes. It is one option that I offer for treatment.
I also encourage my patients to consider other approaches to healing such as lifestyle changes, herbs or nutritional supplements which at times may be the better option—or not. The best and preferred approach for each person is decided upon jointly -with you and me, and is approached individually.
My goal is not to tell you what to do. Rather, as an expert in Women’s Healthcare, I am here to help you decide the paths you want to take towards your optimum health.
I do have an appreciation of the “side” effects of prescription medications. Medications have multiple effects on multiple organ systems. The effect we want is the effect the drug is prescribed for. All the other effects we call “side effects”. Yes I do prescribe medications, and at times encourage their use. However, I regard them with this understanding.
I need a refill on my medication, what do I do?
If you have been seen by me within the year, I can call in a refill. If it has been over a year since your last appointment I will need to see you before I can renew your prescription. The one exception to this is if you are running out of on on going medication. Generally I can call in a refill until you get in for your annual.
DO NOT ask the pharmacy to contact me. This will not work.
Email generally is the easiest way to contact me. If you do email me, for quickest results, include your full name, date of birth, prescription details and the specific pharmacy where you want me to call it into. My office is open Monday to Thursdays 8:30-5, Wednesdays 8:30-2:30. I answer emails and phone messages during these times only. On other days/times, if it is an emergency, call the office for instructions.
Is it possible to contact you outside of office visits?
My practice is small and personal. While I often can not answer my phone, I do return messages promptly.
You can contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org, this is the best way to correspond with me.
Phone and emails left during regular business hours (8:30-5 M-Th Wed 8:30-2:30) I aspire to answer on the same day.
I do have an after hours number for established patients with an urgent problem that can not wait. This number can be found on my outgoing phone message. When I am on vacation, I have coverage with another provider. Of course, if at any time you are having a medical emergency, please go directly to an emergency department in a hospital.
What is your attitude towards LGBTQA individuals or non traditional heterosexual persons?
I welcome all persons in need of the scope of healthcare that I provide. As my specialty is gynecology, I do not care for persons with male genitalia. I am fully respectful of, and honor all people’s choices in terms of gender identification, partner preferences and sexual practices –among consenting adults or consenting youths of similar ages.
Do I need an “Annual Exam” if I am not due for a Pap test?
Yes, it is a good idea, and insurance generally covers them at 100%
You need a pap test every 3-5 years, unless you have had problems in the past. However, the annual exam is much more than just the pap test. It includes an overall health review, evaluation, and physical exam. Together we can see what you can do to treat issues of concern to you, improve your overall health as well as prevent problems that may be coming down the road.
Can you refer me for a mammogram, and what do you think about them?
Yes, I can refer you. Please read my blog on this topic, it is a rather long story.
Do you prescribe bio-identical hormones? What are they anyway? Are they safer than synthetic hormones?
Yes I do prescribe them.
They are hormones that are chemically identical to what a women’s body produces. Synthetic hormones such as premarin and provera are biologically similar to estrogen and progesterone, but chemically they are different forms of what our bodies produce.
Are they safer? There is not strong evidence to show that estradiol is safer than synthetic estrogens. There is some and growing evidence to support progesterone as a safer choice over synthetic progestins. And in my experience, the bio-identical forms of both work better and have less negative side effects than the synthetic forms.
Estrogen exposure in the post menopausal woman does increase occurrence of breast cancer and blood clots which can lead to stokes and/or heart attacks. The incidences are not huge, but they are there. They are dose and duration related. We know that women who have earlier menarche and late menopause have higher incidence of breast cancer—and you can not get more bio-identical then your own estrogen. Similarly overweight women have higher estrogen levels due to the storage of estrogen in fat cells (adipose tissue). They also tend to higher rates of breast cancer. So is it reasonable to take hormone replacement? That depends on how you are being affected by this time of life. Again this I discuss individually with every patient.