Please review these frequently asked questions about our office policies and professional staff. To expand an answer, click the + to the right of the question.
Can you tell us about the background of the physicians and PA’s at CIMA?
Yes, please see the section of our website introducing a summary of the training and personal background of our providers. You can view that page here.
Can I see the PA instead of the physician?
Yes you can. As a patient of our practice you need to select which of our physicians is ultimately responsible for your overall care. Certainly many feel quite comfortable with our PAs and may wish to see them as their primary contact in our practice. All patients, however, are to see the physician on every 4th visit to CIMA so your physician can have a significant oversight role in your care and build their own relationship with you as well.
What if I only want to see the physician instead of the PA, is that allowed?
Yes, although the physicians have trained and have total confidence in our physician assistant to care for your health care needs; we recognize there may be patients who feel more comfortable with the physician or have a problem they prefer to discuss directly with the doctor. It is always your right in our practice to see the physician for any problem. You may find that there is a slightly longer wait to see the doctor which is the trade off when not seeing the PA. Our main goal for our patients is for them to see the provider with which they feel the most comfortable.
What exactly does Internal Medicine entail, and are there patients you do not see?
Internal Medicine is a primary care specialty that focuses on prevention of disease as well as chronic long term major illness management of adults. We start to see patients after they turn 16 and have a focus on adolescent medicine as well. We do not see pediatrics. There is a more detailed explanation of internal medicine on our website. Please follow this link to learn more about our critically important medical specialty.
Do the physicians have any special focus or medical interests?
Yes! Our physicians, in addition to our main focus of internal medicine, have a focus on the special needs and medical care of adolescents and in women’s health. We also focus on your skin concerns and many procedures are done at CIMA to biopsy and treat suspicious skin moles and other conditions.
Do you allow patients to switch their doctor in the practice?
As a general policy we do not allow patients to change physicians. We believe in continuity of care so we strongly encourage the same provider to see you as much as possible to continue your plan of care. At times, on a case by case basis, the practice will allow a patient to change which physician is ultimately the main doctor they will see in the practice so long as they are overall pleased with the practice and willing to see the other providers in the practice in the event they are covering for their regular doctor or there is an emergency. Keeping continuity of care is essential for primary care physicians to take care of your needs and build a healthy and trusting physician-patient relationship which gets to know you as a whole person, not just your individual illnesses.
I am a new patient and coming for my initial visit to see the PA. I was told I need to also select a physician to be responsible for my care and was wondering how that works?
Our practice utilizes several excellent physician assistants who are perfectly capable of taking care of your immediate health care needs as well as helping follow up your care plan set by your physician. CIMA; however, recognizes a need for oversight in your treatment and in our view of practicing medicine a physician is ultimately responsible for your care in this practice. To help us with this we want all patients to understand that our practice views the care by our Physician Assistants to be a wonderful asset to our treatment team. We are serious about creating a culture in the practice where patients and physicians know one another even if a significant part of your care is provided by our PA. This is one of the essential differences with our practice patients enjoy and a critical difference in our practice culture where physicians, no matter if you saw them personally or not, are reviewing your care and treatment progress.
Do the physicians and PA have any interests outside the office or services to the community?
Yes, our doctors and PA live in our community and have a vested interest in our town. They have small children and are active in little league and school organizations. Our physicians donate their time periodically to provide sports physicals that support school fundraising programs, and support local and national charities. Our providers maintain a relationship with the Moss Free Clinic and volunteer considerable time seeing less fortunate patients and providing health care free of charge. They maintain membership and are active with the Medical Society of Virginia, American College of Physicians, and American Academy of Family Physicians.