Dr. K. Ferguson – F.A.Q.

I don’t want to have an investigation done?

If you are unable or not willing to complete an investigation please let me know so I can help make alternate plans for you.  there are often other choices but if not I can at least inform you on what to look for.

How do I get results?

You are generally not contacted with results that are negative or normal.  If you would like a result you can contact the office but it is usually better to just ask at your next appointment.

If you have an Abnormal result and it is not serious then you will be contacted by our staff to either make a follow-up apoointment or start treatment.  If there is a serious concern then I will contact you personally.   I do often make phonecalls to patients while doing paperwork out of office hours.  If I do leave a message – DO NOT WORRY – it is not serious, I usually am just following up or passing along information.

What if I just need to renew a medication but do not need to see the doctor?

You may get renewals for your medications by just calling the office.  If I need to see you for an update, to have bloodwork or Blood Pressure check etc then the office will contact you so that you may make an appointment prior to your next renewal.

How do I check my blood pressure and what is abnormal?

The normal BP if you are healthy is to be <140/90 in the office and <135/85 at home.  If you have Diabetes, Kidney Failure or are at high risk for Heart Disease then your target is <130/80.

You can take your BP at home or at the drugstore.  I recommend using the same drugstore and if you have your own BP cuff then at some point bring it into the office so our nurse can double check its accuracy.

Rest for 5-10mins first.  Sit comfortably with your upper arm at heart level.  The bottom of the cuff should be 2cm above the bend of your elbow.  Take 2 BP readings and write down the lowest of the 2 readings.  It is a good idea to check at different times of the day to see variations.  If you are regularly (>2weeks) getting readings that are above your target then contact the office for an appointment.  If you are having higher reading >160/100 then I would like to know after 3-4d instead of 2 weeks.

Remember that our BP can fluctuate often.  Do not be worried if you have a high reading.  Wait, rest and recheck it over the next few days.  If you are worried let us know.

I have Diabetes….how often should I check my blood sugar?

It depends on how well controlled you are.  If you A1c (the average of your BS over 3 months) is on target then only infrequent testing is required.  Of course I would like you to check more often if feeling unwell.

if your A1c is NOT on target (>7%) then for most people I would like them to check twice per day at different times.  Either right before one of their 3 meals or 2hrs after.  If you are unsure then just ask me the next time you come in.  Remember if you have diabetes I should be seeing your EVERY 3 months – regardless of your A1c level.

How often should I have a Physical Exam?

Most patients will require a complete physical every 2 years.  Elderly or those patients with chronic illness require ANNUAL physical exams.  I will usually tell you at your examination when the next one is due.   These appointments are for PREVENTATIVE health maintenance.  I can address a few concerns but if you have a long list then usually a good idea to make a separate appointment for those.

When should I use antibiotics?

Antibiotics are only used when you have a bacterial infection.  That is why when you have a cold we do not prescribe antibiotics – as colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.  Many infections are viral, including bronchitis.  Giving antibiotics when you have a viral infection will cause more harm than good.  It will not make you feel better, it will kill off the good bacteria protecting your body and make you more susceptible to viral infections.  If  a physician recommends an antibiotic then make sure you understand why.  If you are not sure then ask……..

What about the new study on taking Calcium supplements?

Well this is definitely a hot topic.  I have always recommended that patients get most of their calcium from foods/drinks in their diet.  If you are not achieving the target of 1200mg per day then you should add more calcium.  Your total calcium intake should not exceed 1200mg /d with what you get in your diet AND supplements combined.  The concern is with the cardiac outcomes in women taking too much additional calcium.