Medical: 205-921-5556

Fax: 205-921-5595

2131 Military Street S Hamilton, AL 35570 View Location


Welcome to our “Frequently Asked Questions” page!  Our hope is that this page will be helpful in giving you a better understanding of the way we handle things in our office. If there is a question or topic you would like to see on this page, please email us at

Medical Topics



Medical Topics


I am always asked to bring my medication bottles with me to every office visit. Why is that?

Bringing the actual medication bottles is a check and balance system, of sorts. It allows us to document the medications you are taking. It is important that we know all the medications you are taking, especially if they have been prescribed by another provider. Having a complete list helps us to refrain from prescribing any medication that might cause an interaction. Physically looking at your bottles also assures us that the pharmacy filled the prescription correctly and that you are taking the medication as prescribed.

Having your bottles with you also enables us to see if you will need refills and to address those during your visit, rather than having to call our office to ask for them later.  Calling in at a later date can cost you, the nurse, and the pharmacy, time and effort that could have been avoided if the prescriptions had been addressed in the last office visit.

What happens when I leave a message on the nurse line requesting a refill?

While the nurse does her very best to address your request as soon as she possibly can, this is not her only responsibility.  She has many other duties. Her first priority is to address the needs of the patients here in the office and to take care of the pressing issues that arise throughout the day. The nurse has a 24 hr period in which she is responsible to respond to your refill request. Refills are handled on a patient by patient basis. The status of the refill will be based upon many factors like: what medication you are requesting to be refilled, how long it has been since your last visit with the provider, whether or not it is a medication prescribed by our office, and whether or not a return visit is necessary in order assess the need for further medication. If all of the proper requirements are met, the nurse will fax or escribe the medication to the pharmacy of your choice. Otherwise, an office visit may be required to refill your prescription since we are careful to abide by specific guidelines regarding the conditions under which we prescribe medications.

Why do I have to have an appointment in order to get refills on some of my medications?

Many medications may require an office visit because the condition for which the medication is prescribed must be monitored periodically by blood work. A few conditions that must be monitored before prescribing are: cholesterol/heart, blood pressure, and diabetes. Most medications are filtered through the liver and kidneys. Certain medications can do damage over time to internal organs if they are not monitored correctly. We must also test prior to prescribing certain medications in order to evaluate the current health of internal organs. We wouldn’t want to prescribe, or continue to prescribe, a medication your body cannot handle.

We also require an office visit if we’ve not seen you for an office visit for a very long time. We are held to standards and regulations in regards to how we handle the care of each individual patient. Different medications require different intervals of testing. Depending upon the condition being treated, the intervals required may be weekly, monthly, every 6 months or yearly. We must maintain a fairly regular schedule of testing in order to readily prescribe medication for a condition.

I need to see a specialist. How is the referral process handled?

We are happy to help you get the help you need! An appointment must first be made with our office. During your visit, we will discuss your condition and help you determine the direction your treatment should take. If a referral is necessary we will assist you in deciding which specialist would best suit your needs, and our staff will quickly work to get your appointment scheduled with the office of your choice. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will need to return to our office front desk to pick up a packet we’ve prepared with all the necessary information (test results, doctor’s notes, etc.) to make your referral visit a successful one.

Medical Miscellaneous

What is comprehensive care?

The word comprehensive actually means “of large scale or all inclusive”. Sometimes in health care it is important consider the entire picture of the patient’s health or “the big picture” so to speak. In order to do this effectively, focus cannot be applied to specific problems but rather a broad view approach needs to be applied. This allows the doctor to consider risk factors like family history, past medical history and unhealthy lifestyle in an effort to prevents problems before they occur.

The future of health care will place an increasing emphasis on prevention.  There many reason for this trend, chief of which is better outcomes. Most disease conditions of more effectively treated when diagnosed early. With time, small problems may become bigger and more complex. Delayed diagnosis can allow the window of opportunity to pass. This can lead to bad outcomes which could have been avoided by a formal comprehensive care program. Another reason for comprehensive care is cost containment. Generally speaking , it is much cheaper on the healthcare system to prevent a problem or to diagnose it in the early stages than allow it to progress. For example, it is much more cost effective to prevent a heart attack or a stroke than to treat one.

Why does your office do so much testing? Can’t I just get an antibiotic and go?

When a patient makes an appointment for a chest cold or a similar illness, we must be able to properly diagnose which sort of infection we are treating (bacterial or viral infection). In medicine, patients are too often prescribed antibiotics for an illness that is not affected by these medications. Viral illnesses typically have to run their course, while bacterial illnesses are best treated with antibiotics. In order to properly  treat your symptoms, certain diagnostic tests must be completed. When antibiotics are given without question, and without testing, your body builds a resistance to these medications, making it more difficult for you to overcome your illness. We feel we have a responsibility to do our part, as a medical provider, to establish guidelines and treatment practices that benefit everyone in regards to health. Understanding the “why” helps us all, providers and patients alike,  to makes steps to improve the way we approach medicine.