What to expect during a consultation

When you arrive at the practice you will be greeted by our receptionist. Please bring your Medicare card with you and your current concession card if you have one..

As a new patient, you will be asked to complete a registration form (to be returned to the receptionist) that includes a separate medical form which you give to the doctor or nurse that first sees you. The medical form includes information such as your current and past medical problems, medications and allergies. Our practice nurse is available to assist you with this if required. The nurse may also check your blood pressure, height and weight. You may like to print and complete these at home prior to your appointment.

At the first visit and all subsequent visits, it will help if you write down the health problems that are currently of concern to you on a visit card provided on arrival at the practice at each consultation. This Visit Card is provided at reception and is also available for download, and you may choose to complete it at home and bring it with you. The visit card helps the doctor plan the consultation process and efficiently use your time to meet your needs.

What is the consultation process?

A consultation is a structured process. It has the following steps and our practice nurse may assist with some of these:

  1. History taking covers the presenting problem and background health issues. During this time we try to understand how and when the problem developed and how it affects you. If you decide to have someone else present, it is important that you are aware we may need to ask quite personal questions.
  2. Examination covers the affected areas as well as other aspects which may be significant. You may be required to undress to your underwear behind a screen. If a breast, genital or internal examination is required you are covered with a sheet. You can have our nurse present if you would like or a trusted friend or family member.
  3. Investigations. During the history and examination, the doctor is mentally forming possible diagnoses. This then may direct certain investigations. Some tests such as ECG, lung function tests can be done at the practice. Others may require referral for blood testing, xray or ultrasound.
  4. Diagnosis. A diagnosis may be made during the above stages or may require evaluation over time. A condition may be evolving and need time to assess.
  5. Management plans. We may recommend a course of management involving medication, lifestyle changes, physical or psychological treatments. This will be discussed with you including the possibility of adverse effects and the risks of not having treatment. As well as referral for treatment such as physiotherapy, we may refer you to a medical specialist for an opinion or treatment. (Note – a referral is only done after doing an appropriate assessment.)
  6. Reviews. Many medical problems require a review to consider the results of investigation or response to treatment.
  7. Record keeping. We use a computer program called Best Practice to record your health information. Your medical record is important and we will spend time making sure essential information is updated. Your privacy is protected using high levels of security. All staff are trained in the management of health information and confidentiality.
  8. Preventive health and lifestyle advice. In addition to managing your presenting problem we may recommend certain actions to help improve or protect your heath. This may require a return visit to address these issues.