What to expect at your appointment

Make sure you have booked off enough time

If you have received your new patient appointment information, you will note that you have been given an appointment time for the visit with your doctor which may include several tests. These tests may take 10-20 minutes each (depending on the test). Your visit with the doctor will take a variable amount of time, depending on the problem, and includes a thorough examination of your eyes and an explanation of the results of your tests and examination. Any treatment options will be explained and arranged for you after discussion with you.

The entire appointment including waiting time between tests may take up to 2 hours (or longer). Please prepare yourself and your driver or companion for this. Time spent at this appointment is not wasted time, it is an investment in your eye health.

If this appointment time is not convenient to you, please call our office and we will try tour best o reschedule it within a reasonable timeframe.

Escorts/ Drivers/ Family members/ Friends

** COVID-19 Policy change**

Due to the pandemic restrictions to indoor gatherings, we are currently not allowing patients to attend their appointments with an escort or family member, unless there is a language barrier or special needs. Our staff will help you as much as possible, and will contact your ride once you are done.

We can consider scheduling a virtual visit over the phone with you and your family member(s) if you would like a family conference with your doctor.

Thank you for your cooperation with these measures that keep all our patients and staff at GEM Clinic safer and healthier.

Children

Due to the length of the appointment, we discourage bringing your children or grandchildren to this appointment. It is not possible to look after them while you are taking these tests since we do not provide childcare at the office. We recommend that you arrange for someone to take care of your children during this appointment instead of bringing them with you.

Check Location

If you are not familiar with the area where we are located, you can find our location here.

Registration

Please assist us by filling out the patient questionnaire provided to you (for new patients) or by filling out the questionnaire(s) sent to your mobile phone or email address.

Please have your provincial health card ready for presentation.

Please note that we are not currently allowing escorts or family members to attend appointments with you due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Notify reception if you have a specified time for Handi-Transit pick-up.

Waiting Area

After registering, you may be asked to sit down for a few minutes.

There is a wheelchair accessible public washroom available in the waiting area, along with video entertainment.

You may choose to bring reading material or paperwork to pass the time.

Please note that smoking is prohibited on the premises.

Testing

Your tests will be indicated on your appointment letter or follow-up note.

Please see the section on "Tests" to get specific information about how these tests are conducted and whether there are any fees (most are covered by your provincial health insurance).

In general, these tests will be run by the technicians and may take 30-40 minutes in total, prior to seeing the doctor. You will be instructed on how to perform these tests. The results of these tests will be explained by the doctor after (s)he examines you. Escorts are not allowed in some of the testing areas.

In addition, one of the technician's will test your vision, and do a preliminary work-up that may require the application of eye drops ("freezing" or "numbing" drops - that last 10-15 minutes and possibly "dilating" drops that last several hours).

Internal Waiting Area

After your preliminary testing, you are seated in the internal waiting area before being called into the Doctor's examining room. This takes a variable amount of time (20-40 minutes on average). As this is a smaller waiting room, we reserve this seating area for patients only.

We ask that people refrain from loud talking or cell phone calls in this area since testing is proceeding in the adjacent rooms.

Consultation with the doctor

Once the doctor is ready for you, you (and your escort) will be taken to one of the examination rooms and seated. It is important for you (and your escort) to switch off your cell phones while in the doctor's examination room. Your doctor will examine your eyes thoroughly and explain the process as (s)he examines you.

Freezing or numbing eyes drops (effect lasts 10 minutes) will be applied to your eyes to make sure the examination is comfortable for you.

The examination only takes a few minutes and will not hurt. The doctor will look into your eyes with an upright microscope and various other instruments. (See details of testing under "Tests and Fees").

The doctor will then turn to the computer and review all your test results and enter the information into your chart.

After this, your doctor will discuss the results with you (and your escort if present) and be able to answer your questions.

The time with the doctor is the most important part of the visit and can take a variable amount of time depending on the problem. If you are being offered surgery for either cataract or glaucoma, this will be discussed with you as thoroughly as time permits. Detailed information will be given to you by handout or via email. You can also check this website for more information.

Regarding cell phones

Since your time with the doctor is limited, please do not waste it by taking cell phone calls while in front of the doctor. Switch off your cell phone while in the doctor's examination room. If you or your escort takes a cell phone call during your time with the doctor, (s)he may choose to see another patient while you are on the phone, or reschedule the appointment.

After seeing the doctor

Your doctor will give your any relevant prescriptions and instructions. You will then be directed to the reception area to make your follow-up appointment (if necessary) and pay any fees.

We will endeavor to make your visit to GEM Clinic as safe, effective and worthwhile as possible.

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