This page sets out a number of important policies about how, why and when to get in touch with me between appointments, as well as when you should make an appointment.
The General Rule
Like a conventional medical practice with a general practitioner, most of our contact should occur during appointments.
There are, however, some limited exceptions to this rule.
Examples When you Should Contact Me Between Appointments
The following are examples of times when I would like you to contact me via email:
- If you have an urgent enquiry – see below.
- If you have recently had an appointment but after reading through your treatment notes you do not understand what I am asking you to do.
- If supplements, treatment recommendations or test kits fail to arrive as pre-arranged.
- If supplements arrive damaged or in error.
- If you are unable to arrange the testing we agreed on and need an alternative (for instance if your doctor will not order a test that I have asked for before the next appointment).
- If you have a suspected adverse reaction to my treatment and do not know whether to continue the treatment.
- In short, anything that stops you from being able to implement the recommendations from our last appointment is reason to contact me, as I do not want your appointment wasted.
Please also contact me if:
- You need to change your appointment time (please give as much notice as possible)
- You need to make an appointment but cannot do so online
- You need to re-order supplements (see below.)
I am always happy to receive notes of thanks or positive progress reports as these do brighten my days.
If you have a question for me that is not urgent or related to one of the above, please jot it down to ask at your next appointment. I appreciate your understanding that most enquiries are best addressed at an appointment.
Examples of When you Should Make An Appointment
The following are examples of things for which you should make an appointment:
- If you have received test results requiring review
- If you would like my comment on another practitioner’s suggestions
- If you would like me to read some information that you have come across and comment on it (I am happy to receive articles as a general “you might like this” however I may not always have time to read them fully, so if you wish me to specifically comment on it in relation to your case that will require an appointment.)
- If you have any questions that are not specifically related to how to implement my treatment suggestions (I am happy to have an extra appointment as a Q&A session if you have many questions.)
- If you have not reached your treatment goals and wish to try something else or your treatment needs changing for any other reason.
- If you would like my input on your own treatment ideas.
- If you wish to continue current supplements but your prescription has expired (see below.)
I really appreciate you respecting my time as you would for your own doctor.
Reordering Supplements/Prescription expiration
I am happy to re-supply supplements to you within certain legal and ethical parameters. I will mail or renew an online prescription for you under the following conditions:
- If I have prescribed them myself or otherwise told you to take them OR if you have a valid current prescription for that exact product from another qualified practitioner;
- The prescription does not need changing (that will require an appointment); and
- Your prescription has not expired.
Your prescription expires at the time that I advised you to come in for your next appointment, plus a maximum of one month.
For Example: if I advised you to return in 6 weeks, but cannot do so, I will re-supply prescribed supplements for a maximum of 10 weeks.
If you have been put on a maintenance plan then your prescription expires up to a maximum of 6 months after your last appointment, unless I advise otherwise at the time of prescription.
If you are on pre-conception or pre-natal care, your prescription expires when you conceive or give birth, respectively.
These time limits are required in order to ensure that your products remain appropriate for you. There are certain supplements such as broccoli sprout powder that I am happy to supply indefinitely, I will let you know if your products come into this category.
To order supplements please advise of the exact brand and product name and bottle size you require.
For supplements to be mailed:
Please email me with the requested supplements with at least 1 week’s notice.
If your supplements are available via online prescription 2 days’ notice is requested at a minimum.
What’s An Urgent Enquiry?
If you have an urgent enquiry please email me with the subject line “urgent”. The following are examples of urgent situations that I want to hear about:
- Someone has a new or worsening acute illness and you would like to make an urgent appointment (see below.)
- A patient of the clinic has had a severe adverse reaction to a supplement that I have prescribed. Please withdraw any such supplement immediately until you hear back from me. Always contact your doctor or hospital if symptoms are serious.
- A patient of the clinic has had a moderately serious or concerning symptom develop which you believe may be related to a supplement that I prescribed, and you wish to know whether there is an antidote and whether it is safe to continue the supplement or not (if in doubt, always discontinue unless you hear otherwise from me.)
- Any supplement I prescribe has been taken inappropriately i.e. a child or pet has gotten into a bottle of supplements or someone has significantly overdosed on a supplement. In this case please always contact myself and your local Poisons Information Centre. Please exercise common sense and caution in these cases – most supplements are very safe but some, such as iron, can be deadly in overdose. I will usually advise you if I have prescribed something that can be dangerous if not taken exactly as prescribed.
If you require assistance for acute situations, I am happy to perform an online consultation to help you at short notice, depending on my availability. A short acute-care consultation is $45 for 15 minutes. Longer consultations may be required for more complicated conditions, or for persons who are not already patients of the practice. Please email me to arrange a short acute-care consultation, ensuring that you put “Urgent” in the subject line if you need an appointment soon.
If I have sent you for tests either directly or through your doctor I would like to review these with you at your next appointment. If another practitioner or doctor has ordered tests for you I am very interested in reviewing these results as well, however if you would like my input on these then please understand that this will require an appointment also and I cannot comment on test results between appointments.
Please email me your test results in ONE document per test type (i.e. one of blood tests, one for genetics etc.) This prevents me from wasting your appointment time opening multiple files. Please also ensure that all test results are easily readable and facing upright, not needing rotation. Scanned PDF documents are usually much easier for me to read than photos.
Please email your results no more than 24 hours before your next appointment. This ensures that your email is easy to locate when we connect online.
Some patients have had their initial contact with me via Facebook and this is fine, however I do ask that once you have my email address, please use this or the website contact form to get in touch with me rather than facebook/messenger. The reason for this is simply that facebook messages cannot be ‘flagged’ for me to respond to later, and therefore can easily get overlooked if I am not able to respond on the spot.
I am now working Tuesday and Friday, with occasional exceptions.
Email response time frames
I endeavour to respond to emails received during my office hours on the same day, but am not always able to do so. If you email me after 5pm on a Friday you will not receive a response until the following working week unless it is urgent. I am often bombarded with emails over the weekend and if Tuesday is as busy clinic day this may mean that I do not have time to respond to your email until Wednesday. I appreciate your patience in this matter.
Unfortunately some emails do go astray. If you do not hear back from me within a week (24 hours if marked urgent) please contact me again to check that I did receive it.
As many of you may have noticed, I am rarely able to answer the phone. If I am at work I am usually with patients and therefore unable to answer the phone. If you need me urgently during office hours, email is the most reliable way to get in touch, however you can feel free to call and leave a message as well.
PLEASE do not call again if you do not get through to me. If the call goes to voice mail this means that I am with a patient and I have rejected your call.
Repeated calls while I am with a patient are obviously very disturbing to the consultation so I ask you to call only once and leave a message please.