Preparing For Your First Appointment
Central to the success of the Integrative Medicine approach is the office visit. Optimizing this time together in order to establish and modify a treatment plan for better health is the number one goal.
NOTE: Dr. Burton practices as an Integrative Medicine specialist and no longer as a primary care physician. You should have your own/keep your Primary Care Physician for hospitalizations, life-threatening emergencies and high-risk medications (narcotics, blood thinners, psychotropics, etc). Dr. Burton does not have direct hospital affiliation.
Before you schedule an appointment, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you willing to discuss your symptoms and provide regular feedback (by email) on your status?
- Are you willing to change your supplements and current medications based on recommendations by an alternative medicine physician?
- Do you agree to contact Dr. Burton immediately by email (or phone during office hours)on any change in your health status?
We respect that some individuals have had “bad” experiences with previous practitioners and feel they must rely on themselves to make treatment decisions. The integrative approach in this office requires a healthy doctor and patient relationship with a partnership based on honesty & trust. Treatment plan decisions are made together, not unilaterally. It requires WORK on your part. Your research, questions, suggestions are an integral part of the treatment plan as well as your continued self-monitoring and progress reports. Make sure you have decided that this Integrative Medicine approach for optimum health is right for you
Your First Visit
The purpose of your first visit will be to obtain a detailed account of your current medical status and establish a treatment plan. Please allow enough time for this to occur. Strongly recommend not to schedule the first or ANY subsequent office visit before going to work, for example, or any other appointments immediately following your appointment on that day.
- Fill out all paperwork before your first visit. Medical Intake forms may be picked up or mailed to you (by request). Having your paperwork complete will save time and allow us to spend more of the visit focused on YOU. Do not mail any forms or records to the office! Please bring them with you to your visit.
- Bring all/any old records reports including X-Rays, MRI, CT, EKG, Echocardiogram, Stress Test, Cardiac Catheterization Reports (NOT the disk or films), Laboratory Reports (Blood Tests, Pathology), Doctor Visits, Hospital Reports, or any other reports that you may have on hand. Do not worry: If you do not have them, we can request them once you come for the visit., but the absence of certain information may delay formulating your complete treatment plan
- Bring ALL supplements (We need to see the ACTUAL bottles, boxes, etc OR IF YOU CANT BRING THE CONTAINERS TAKE SMARTPHONE CAMERA PICTURES OF FRONT of container AND BACK OF INGREDIENTS). A list of medications is acceptable, with correct dosage and amount, as long if the list is up to date (see Integrative Medicine Forms) You should also be prepared to let us know previous treatments you have taken and the reason why they were discontinued.
- Once you are signed in at the front desk, if time permits, you can present your paperwork to the desk staff so it can be scanned into our electronic system before the visit. They should do this immediately and return the documents to you to bring into the doctor’s room. All documents will be scanned and returned to you (to be placed in your binder-see below).
- We recommend wearing comfortable clothing. Some patients elect to bring their own water or other “personals” to occupy their time while they are in the lounge area. While your wait should not be more than average waiting room time, please be mindful that on rare occasions emergencies do occur, requiring the attention of doctors and/or staff.
- Most laboratory records are incomplete or not up to date. Expect new laboratory orders. These will include panels that address inflammation (homocysteine), autoimmune diseases, include iodine levels, and comprehensive cardiovascular studies (more than just the average “LDL” and “triglycerides”). These tests may be necessary to establish an optimum treatment plan You may have to pay a deductible for your laboratory tests, depending on your insurance. This is a decision of your insurance policy and is independent of this office. You are advised to check about your deductible with your insurance company. This office is NOT responsible for ANY laboratory fees!
BE PREPARED TO TAKE NOTES AT ALL APPOINTMENTS!!!! You may record using a smartphone, or bring paper/pen to record what is discussed. You are responsible for remembering your own treatment plan and knowing the names of your medications and supplements.
You may wish to keep your notes in a binder. All patients who have paper records are strongly encouraged to keep these documents in a 3 ring notebook or binder. We recommend a 3 ring binder at least 1 inch (2 inches or more for those who have a significant amount of records) and tab-dividers so that sections can be labeled (“history”, “medicine/supplement list”, “radiology”). Recommend you bring your notebook to each office visit–you can leave in the car just in case it’s needed–as we will be returning all records and reports to you during office visits. NOTE: we no longer mail these records; you must come for an appointment if you wish t receive these records from our office. Another use is to record your blood pressures, sugars, temps, etc from the last appointment in your binder/notebook If you need help putting the notebook together, take it to our front desk and the office staff can put it together for you. Its also strongly recommended you bring/take binder/notebook with you to ALL other specialists’ appointments.
MEDICATION REFILL POLICY: Ongoing Medications AND REFILLS are written ONLY AT THE TIME OF THE OFFICE VISIT! Refills are ALWAYS written to accommodate you until your next scheduled appointment (or beyond). If you are not able to keep that visit, please reschedule in time before you run out of medications. You are given a copy of the electronic script of medications FOR YOU at the time of the visit that shows what medications have been sent to the pharmacy, along with the refill number. If there is a discrepancy with your pharmacy, you should always contact the pharmacy first, or present to them your copy of the order to verify that refills SHOULD BE AVAILABLE! If you do not get your medication, it is likely because your insurance will not pay for the medication, or you need prior authorization from our office before the insurance company will pay. Ask the pharmacy if prior authorization is needed. Make sure you notify our office as soon as possible if you do not get your medication from the pharmacy. If you choose not to get the medication (or any treatment) because the copay/cost is too high, you still need to notify our office as soon as possible (do NOT wait until next appointment!)
SUPPLEMENT REFILLS: Supplement Refills do NOT require an office visit, but can only be distributed during Dr. Burton’s office hours, during noon or evening hours. Please notify Dr. Burton BY EMAIL at least five working days before needed. Payment: check (allow for 30 days deposit), cash, or credit card. For those who live outside the Grand Blanc area, your supplements can be sent by direct mail from the distributor, for an additional mailing fee. This arrangement must be made during an office visit. Refer to the “Medicinal Food/Supplement” Agreement, for further details.
NOTE: Any treatments, non-emergency tests, or other requests should ONLY be discussed at time of visit (including letters for work, etc)
Dr. Burton is an Integrative Medicine Specialist, and therefore, is seeing patients on a consultant status. Use your own doctor for hospital admissions (but contact Dr. Burton by email if you have to go to the hospital, Urgent Care or ER). Effective January 2017, Dr. Burton is no longer acting/working as a primary care physician and insurances (other than Medicare) are no longer being accepted. Dr. Burton IS available for alternative/integrative care for acute illness management. You must contact Dr. Burton by email (or office only if email not available) within 48-hour onset of symptoms.
NOTE: Please contact the office if you are not keeping, or will be late your follow-up visit, out of courtesy to others. A fee may be charged or you may be discharged from our service for repeated failure to notify or poor compliance with office visits.
The key to successful treatment in this office is patience and communication!