FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is “Family Medicine?”

Family Medicine is a primary care specialty which provides comprehensive medical care to individuals and families throughout their lifetimes. Family doctors are trained in preventative healthcare as well as in the management of chronic diseases and acute conditions such as illness or injury. Family doctors can take care of patients of all ages from newborns to geriatric patients. The training is, therefore, very comprehensive and thorough. Family Physicians continue to receive ongoing training throughout their careers.

The specialty of Family Medicine works under the model of a “Patient Centered Medical Home.” In this model, patients will always have a personal physician who is available not only to keep them healthy but also if they were to get sick or injured. If specialty care or hospitalization is needed, it is coordinated by your Family Physician so that all of your medical care is centered in your “medial home.”

What does it mean to be “Board Certified?”

Board Certification in Family Medicine is awarded through the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) and is an important indicator that your doctor has the knowledge, experience and skills to provide high-quality patient care. Board certification is voluntary and goes above and beyond being licensed by the state to practice medicine. The ABFM requires four years of instruction in a qualified medical school, three years of advanced training in an accredited Family Medicine residency program as well as rigorous ongoing commitments to continuing medical education, periodic detailed board examinations and demonstrations of excellence in current medical practice.

How do I schedule an appointment at Temecula Valley Advanced Medicine?

Call our office directly at 951-696-2215 to schedule an appointment. Currently we are not able to schedule appointments online. We are always accepting new patients and if you’re need is urgent, we will make every effort to schedule an appointment within 24 hours or provide you with a referral to the closest Urgent Care center.

Do you close on holidays?

We are closed on all Federal holidays including New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If I have an urgent medical problem and it occurs after office hours, can I talk to a doctor?

Temecula Valley Advanced Medicine doctors are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for our patients who have urgent conditions. Call our office at 951-696-2215 to have a message sent to our on-call physician. If you feel that you are having a true medical emergency, 911 should be called directly.

How do I get a refill on my medication?

If you have a chronic medical condition which requires routine medication, your condition and your medication require periodic monitoring. At Temecula Valley Advanced Medicine, we monitor your condition generally according to disease management guidelines that are scientifically studied to understand how to provide the best medical care.

Therefore, your prescription should often be set to “expire” or run out around the time that you are due to be seen for follow-up. If this is the case, please call our office before your prescription runs out so that a follow-up appointment can be set up. For these types of appointments, it’s generally a good idea to call a couple of weeks in advance.

If you have already been seen for appropriate follow-up of your medical condition then the best way to obtain a prescription refill is to call your pharmacy and have them send us a refill request. This assures that all of the details of the medication and the pharmacy will be accurate. Please allow 2-3 days for this type of refill request to be completed.

Unless your doctor has discussed this with you and made other arrangements, certain medications will almost never be refilled by phone and will require an appointment including: controlled substances (narcotics, anxiety medications, sleeping pills, and ADD medications), antibiotics, anti-seizure medicines and steroids.

What are Yearly Physicals?

For years, this has been the term we have used to describe the once yearly visit to our doctor to make sure we are doing OK. Under the Affordable Care Act, insured patients are entitled to one visit a year to discuss wellness, and that has taken the place of the Yearly Physical.  It is considered a Well Person visit to discuss age appropriate illness prevention screening tests, health goals for the year, and other non-illness related issues.  If you are seeking care for chronic medical conditions, the lab and discussion associated with those conditions typically is not covered under most insurance plans and will be billed separately. Please be aware that you may be responsible for expenses which fall outside of the preventive or wellness benefit in your insurance plan.

What if I want to discuss other conditions I may have at my wellness visit, such as thyroid disease or high blood pressure?

You may discuss any issue you like at your visit. Just be aware that the blood work and evaluation used to monitor chronic diagnoses like these is not considered part of a wellness visit, but part of chronic maintenance of a diagnosed condition.   Any services which are not considered part of disease prevention will most likely not be covered by your insurance plan’s once yearly wellness visit.

It’s been a year since my last doctor visit and I want to address a lot of questions. Can I do this on one visit?

Agenda setting for your visit is very important so that you and your provider know all of the concerns you have about your health. Most visits are scheduled for 15 minutes. We can certainly consider your full list, but out of respect to you and the serious commitment we have to your well being, each concern may require a dedicated visit. Your health is very important and may need more than one visit per year with your health care provider.

Why is my provider behind schedule?

We ask that patients check in at least 15 minutes before their scheduled visit so that they can update their records and so that we can verify their current insurance coverage. Not all of your fellow patients are able to get here in that time frame, or have had changes in their insurance coverage or personal information. Some of your fellow patients may even experience a surprise change in who their insurance plan says is their doctor. When these things happen, a visit can’t start at its scheduled time. In other cases, patients have a long list of concerns to discuss at their visit or even a medical emergency in the clinic, and the attention these matters deserve runs past the scheduled visit time. Arriving ahead of your scheduled visit with a clear and realistic agenda for your visit helps everyone to stay on time.

How often should I be seeing my provider?

This depends on the types of health challenges you face.  For patients with high blood pressure or diabetes, the best practice recommendation in the industry is every 3 months. These conditions may slip out of control with few or no symptoms, and close follow up is shown to prevent dangerous long term consequences of these illnesses.  Your provider will outline for you the follow up schedule that best suits your diagnosis and how you are maintaining your health.

Why does my provider want me to see a pain specialist when they are able to prescribe my medications?

The dangers of prescription pain medications are making headlines all over the country. Every day 40 people die from over dosing on their prescription pain medications, or from accidental pain medicine interactions with other medications.  We want to make certain that your pain medicine regimen is right for your needs. There is a dedicated group of physicians who have been trained specifically to care safely and appropriately for you and get you back to living life well, and we feel it is in our patients’ best interest to have specialized care when it comes to something as important as life threatening medications such as prescription pain relievers.