I intend your initial visit to my practice to mark the beginning of profound changes in your life. Except in instances where we are focusing very narrowly, please plan to spend 90-120 minutes. I will review the history of your experience with health problems to begin the process of understanding the factors that influence your well-being and identifying underlying causes of your symptoms. These usually include sources of stress, disturbances of physiology, risk factors and unhealthy behaviors. It is often helpful to assay how you manage stress, and appropriate aspects of your diet, spiritual and emotional life.
I will have already reviewed your intake form and so will have a pretty good initial over-view of your health history.
This initial visit will usually include review of your recent lab tests or other kinds of studies and discussion of the advisability of gathering additional data. Lab testing can be expensive, and not all of the lab facilities I work with file with insurance. All decisions about lab testing are made with your fully informed involvement, taking into account financial concerns as well as the extent to which you may be supported in the healing process by having scientific data. We find that such data does motivate patients as well as serving as a baseline reference for future progress. See the Laboratory Testing page for specific information on the sorts of lab testing I may suggest.
For patients whose health concerns are reflected in significant body composition issues such as weight, the initial visit may entail the gathering of another set of data, including a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, which measures both fat and lean body mass as well as body water status. These results combined with basic blood chemistries often provide a clear and useful picture of health risks and the road map for improvement.
An important part of your first visit will be to identify health priorities and goals you want to achieve. This may include amelioration of your most troubling symptoms, changes in lab values (such as blood sugar or inflammatory markers), weight loss and improved body composition, or goals related to your mental function and sense of well-being.
It is not uncommon for the first session to deal exclusively with issues related to stress and anxiety rather than on practical aspects such as testing and supplements.
The initial visit will usually conclude with a plan for moving forward. I will make recommendations for next steps. For many patients the first steps will address diet, exercise and stress management. Further lab testing may be part of the plan. This part of the process is always individual to the patient, depending on their preferences, financial constraints, and timelines. We understand that each patient is the driver of their own healing path and we strive to work with sensitivity and respect for each patient’s pace.
I look forward to working with you to create a healthier life and to that end I offer an online intake process. That allows me to have a good wide-angle view of your overall health from the very beginning of your first visit. You may also request appointments and prescription refills using the online contact form and I communicate regularly with my patients by e-mail for answering simple questions and making follow-up appointments.