Please do not expect to talk with me over the telephone during office hours. For me to leave a patient being examined to answer every phone call to the office would be unfair to the patient under treatment. The office staff has been trained to answer most questions. If they are unable to answer your questions, your chart will be obtained and the answer to your question will be relayed to you from me. If a problem arises which is best handled by a direct conversation between you and I, the I will return your call after I have finished seeing my patients for the morning or afternoon.
Unless abused, I do not charged for medical advise given over the phone during office hours. Understand, however, that many health problems have the same symptoms. For this reason, most requests for telephone treatment will require an office examination. Many after-hours telephone calls will be billed as brief service.
A note about after-hour phone calls: I never mind a call from a patient who needs hospitalization. Most calls could be better handled during the day and do not fall within the scope of emergency or urgent phone calls. Because of my workload, the stress on my time becomes critical. This is why many physicians in this area have left practice or have had personal problems of divorce, drug abuse and suicide. There are a few of my patients that will wait until after 5:00 or call on weekends or holidays with an illness that has been present 2 or 3 days, or to refill a prescription that could well have been done during office hours, or about a sprained wrist that happened a week ago, or saying, "I didnít want to bother you during office hours", or "Iíve got to work tomorrow so I thought Iíd call you today" (Sunday). Some people are just not aware what it is like to be called about their job evenings and weekends when they are relaxing with their family so perhaps this note will help point this out to them and make them a little more thoughtful. Again, this is not intended for those 99% who are so thoughtful.