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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the whiteboard for?

In order of importance, write down a list of what you need to mention to your doctor, like symptoms or requests.  If you bring your own list, the doctor needs to be able to read and keep it afterwards, so have your list on the table or transfer it to the board.


Where do I go for my tests and referrals? 

For blood work, you must take the requisition to LifeLabs (Fergus, Mount Forest, Palmerston, Guelph, etc).  You can pre-book your appointment on their website for a certain location.  Our office can courier urine and stool samples; the front staff has the bottles for your convenience.  For imaging tests and specialist appointments, you will receive a call later for an appointment from either our office or the specialist’s office. Please make sure your contact information is updated on your way out. If you don’t hear back about any plan we have made after 4 weeks, don't hesitate to contact us.


What are same-day appointments?

Same-day appointments are one issue appointments for new problems that suddenly arise or for a major change in a chronic condition. Phone lines open at 8:30 am.


How do I hand in work or insurance forms?

Please have a look at our office form policy on our website. We require you to submit also a patient copy of the form where you put in your answers.  We want you to have a chance to put down your perspective for the doctors to review, and verify that crucial information is correct.  


Why is my doctor running late?

The doctors manage many patients in many settings, including hospital and palliative patients, whose time needs are unpredictable.  Sometimes the patients before you need more time than they were booked for.  You can help by selecting the correct amount of time for the number and complexity of problems you wish to discuss when booking your appointment.  We may ask you to book a second appointment to get it all in if we run out of time in the first appointment.  Bring some entertainment or work to do when you come for an appointment.


How do I exit the room?

Leave the door open, turn right, and follow the arrows on the floor.

Are you taking on new patients?

We are continuing to keep a waitlist. There is no timeline for this waitlist and when new patients can be taken on. If a doctor does take on patients please wait until you receive a phone call from our office.

Why do you want my weight, height, and vital signs at every visit?

Vital signs are essential to assessing your health, giving the doctors clues about possible new diseases, and showing trends over time about chronic illnesses.  We take the extra time to obtain this valuable information at every appointment to provide you with excellent care.


Can I have a telephone appointment?

We no longer book telephone appointments. The doctors feel they can do their best with an in-person assessment. Sitting down together to discuss your health and having the chance to examine you is important for providing you with good health care.


Can the doctor just call me between patients?

Our office is very busy, and there is no time between patients for a conversation on the phone.  If the issue is minor, the doctors can delegate a message to the support staff to pass on to you by phone. If the issue is complex, you would actually need a dedicated appointment so we can set aside the time you deserve to discuss the issue in detail.

What if I run out of medications?

Except for antibiotics or medications with a specified end date, you must check with our office before stopping a medication.  Ask for an appointment to review or ask for a refill from your pharmacy


How do I renew my meds?

Ask your pharmacist to contact our office. Prescription refill requests require 3-5 business days for completion. Drug renewals for stable issues do not need an appointment. We may periodically ask for monitoring through lab tests, online surveys, or appointments.  We can only refill prescriptions after the proper assessments.


How do I book an appointment?

Besides calling the office, you can also book online. Please explain your problem(s) so we can allocate the appropriate time including pre-appointment paperwork if needed. 


What if I have more than one issue or need extra time?

Please let us know as far ahead as possible so we can book extra time for you, organize the time in the appointment appropriately, or book extra appointments to get it all in.  You can select multiple issues or preventative care when booking online or when calling.


Is no news good news when it comes to test results?

Not necessarily.  Maybe you didn’t get our message, or the results got lost in the mail.  If unsure about a pending result, you should always call and check with the nurse.


Should I book with my family doctor or see the first available provider?

In general we will book you with the physician you are rostered with or the NP but please work with all providers to help avoid delays in your care if the issue is urgent.


What if I am not getting better after the first visit?
Please book a follow-up so we can revisit the issue and review any new information.  For follow-ups, please book with the same initial provider who saw you about the same issue if feasible.


What other resources are available to me at this office?

You can book appointments with the nurse practitioner.  Our nurses provide cancer screening and immunizations.  You may be referred to our Family Health Team for counselling, dietician, etc. The addiction clinic is here Wed afternoons (

Is there after-hours care?

Our Family Health Team operates the Fergus Walmart Walk-in clinic. To book an appointment, call 519-787-2940 at 4:30 pm on weekdays and 8:30 am on weekends.

When do I go to the Emergency Department?

This office does not have labs, imaging, or advanced monitoring. Any emergency issues like chest pain, shortness of breath, dehydration, weakness, sudden severe headache, confusion, or significant injuries require a trip to the Emergency Room by calling 911.

Do the doctors work at the hospital?

Dr. Lin and Dr. Jones work at Groves Memorial Community Hospital. If you stay overnight at Groves, ask to be admitted under your family doctor.


Why does your office call me when I don’t call you?

If you are due for a medically necessary test or treatment, our office will call you to ensure you receive the standard medical care other people typically receive in Canada.

You can politely say, “I understand, but no, thank you.”  We need a reply either way so please reply with a decision.  For some tests, there may be consequences for saying no, such as not catching a deadly disease early or our office being unable to renew prescriptions because we could not monitor your medications.

Are you getting a new doctor in the office?

We continue trying to recruit a new doctor for a permanent position in our practice in Arthur.  You will see that we bring in doctors and medical learners regularly to work in our office from time to time.  We hope they will decide to stay and take on their own patients in Arthur.  Please warmly welcome them and work with them while they are here.  


Why do you need me to bring my health card everytime?

Showing your health card every time is a legal requirement to access your Ontario Health Insurance Plan benefits.  You need it whenever you access the health care system, including the hospital, lab tests, imaging tests, and seeing your family doctor.  For more instructions about your OHIP card please visit

Why do you want my weight, height, and vital signs at every visit?

Vital signs are essential to assessing your health, giving the doctors clues about possible new diseases, and showing trends over time about chronic illnesses.  We take the extra time to obtain this valuable information at every appointment to provide you with excellent care.

Why do you send me electronic forms to complete online or on a tablet in the office?

Electronic questionnaires allow you to provide important information about your visit beforehand.  This gives you more time to discuss your questions with the doctor (rather than the appointment being filled with the doctor asking you questions that can be also asked on a questionnaire).


Why don't you do bloodwork at the office anymore?

We found dedicating our staff time towards preventative health care, clinical assessments, and patient communication to be more effective for the practice's overall effectiveness.  We agree it is inconvenient to leave town for bloodwork.  We continue to ask LifeLabs to open a laboratory kiosk in Arthur.  You can also contact Lifelabs at if you feel the same way.


Do you have any rules at the office?

Yes, we wish to treat you with respect and consideration.  We would like to be treated with respect and consideration in return.  Please review at our office code of conduct on our website for details.

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