Dr. Frank Gifford
Hello there and welcome to my family practice! I am a local guy, having grown up nearby in Ennismore on our family farm where I continue to reside with my wife and children. I’ve completed my medical training in variety of places, including the United States, and have most recently completed my Family Medicine Residency with Queen’s University, based out of Kingston, ON. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the community I grew up in and to provide quality primary health care.
Here is some information about my Practice:
1. Office Hours:
Tuesday & Wednesday: 9:00am-12:00pm & 1:00pm-4:00pm
Phone lines will open at 9:00am and will be closed during lunch, from 12:00pm until 1:30pm. Phones will not be answered outside of office hours. These hours are subject to change. For vacations and other leaves, I may have another physician cover the practice for urgent concerns.
2. After-Hours Clinic / Holidays:
If you require urgent care outside of office hours, the After-Hours Clinic at The Medical Centre is available:
• Monday to Thursday: 5:00pm-8:00pm
• Saturday and Sunday: 8:00am-2:00pm
3. Same Day Appointments:
I will always try to keep appointments available for same day urgent visits. If you need to be seen urgently that day, please call in the morning and we will do our best to accommodate you. Less urgent appointments will be scheduled as available.
4. Staff Information
Allie Elchyson is our office receptionist. Allie should be trusted with all your concerns. She schedules patients for appointments and requires some information about your appointment in order to allot you an appropriate amount of time. She is available to answer the phones for Dr. Waghmare and Dr. Gifford five days per week. She has a lot of experience in a medical office setting and keeps everything running smoothly.
Samantha Gifford is our clinic nurse. Samantha has extensive experience in pediatric medicine and responsible for all immunizations and routine injections. She is actively involved with our patient encounters and often obtains vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, weight, etc.) at most patient visits. Samantha is also involved in communicating investigation/lab work results.
Ginny Veselskiy is a nurse practitioner working with us. She has extensive experience in primary care practice as well as critical care. She works independently, in conjunction with and alongside Dr. Gifford to help manage all of our patients' medical needs. For further information about Ginny, please see her profile.
5. Appointment Length:
Initial visits with patients will be 30 minutes in duration, but most visits going forward will be booked for 15-20 minutes. Most concerns require this amount of time for thorough assessment. Certain appointments, such as procedures and Periodic Health Visits, are allotted more time. I do my best to ensure each medical complaint you have gets the time and attention it requires. That being said, it can be quite difficult and medically unsafe to try to adequately address several complex medical complaints in a single visit. If you feel you require a longer appointment (e.g., mental health, multiple questions or concerns, etc.), please let us know when booking. If your priorities cannot be addressed in the time available, you will be asked to rebook. I will try my best to stay on time, however certain situations are unpredictable, and I would appreciate your patience if delays occur.
6. Day of the Appointment:
Please try to remember to bring your medications or, if not practical, a list of your medications including name, dose, and frequency. Please remember to also bring your health card with you at every visit. Please arrive on time. I will do my best to ensure that the office runs efficiently and on time. We reserve the right to rebook patients who are late for appointments.
7. Appointment Cancellations / Missed Appointments:
If you are unable to keep an appointment, please call at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment to cancel. Any notice you can provide is appreciated. I do recognize that unexpected circumstances can arise. There is a charge for missed appointments when notice is not provided. My office will not be calling to remind you of your appointment; it is therefore your responsibility to remember. Frequently missed appointments without advanced noticed may result immediate termination from the practice.
8. Periodic Health Visits (AKA "Checkups"/"Physicals"):
These are booked for 30 minutes and may be different than what you have experienced in the past, with an increasing focus on prevention/screening. Given the limited time available, please do not "save up" multiple concerns for this visit. Instead, I would be happy to dedicate an earlier appointment to your concerns.
9. Prescription Renewals:
You may ask for a prescription renewal at any visit. If you are running low on a routine medication, please ask your pharmacy to fax a request for refill. Please make this request at least 1-2 weeks prior to running out of the medication to allow time to review the request and send in a renewal. I do my best to complete renewal requests in a timely manner to avoid medication lapses. That being said, I cannot guarantee timely renewals on last-minute requests and so I strongly discourage such requests. Some medications will require you to return to clinic for an appointment for ongoing monitoring, such as bloodwork and a physical examination. At that time, I may provide a prescription renewal.
Opioids (e.g. Tylenol #3, oxycodone/Percocet, morphine, hydromorphone/Dilaudid, fentanyl, etc.) and other controlled medications including benzodiazepines (e.g. Ativan/lorazepam, Valium/diazepam, clonazepam, etc.) will only be prescribed after a thorough history, physical examination, and appropriate investigations are complete. I try to avoid prescribing such medications, unless necessary, as they are highly addictive and can have unsafe side effects in many people. If prescribed these medications, it will be in small quantities and for limited amounts of time.
Any patients being prescribed opioids will be required to sign a contract (available separately) and undergo random urine drug testing. At the physician's discretion, patients may be switched to an alternate agent or tapered off of these medications if clinical benefit is not demonstrated. I realize that some of my patients may have previously been prescribed opioids and continue to take them. I will work with the patient on an individual basis to determine whether the opioid is indicated and what other options may be available. I will be working within the current opioid guidelines to limit the dosage of opioid medications. If you are currently on long-term opioids, I will still have you sign the opioid contract as it is my policy.
11. Test Results:
If you have tests done (e.g. blood test, x-rays, etc.), I will only contact you if the results are abnormal and there is something that requires further discussion prior to your next visit. You may be asked to book an appointment to discuss results in person. If you otherwise wish to follow-up on normal results, you will be required to book a visit.
I only prescribe antibiotics for significant bacterial illnesses. For example, the common cold (upper respiratory tract infection) is caused by many viruses that give us those unpleasant symptoms of a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and congestion. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses, and do not treat the common cold. I will not prescribe antibiotics for colds or other viral illnesses, such as the majority of cases of bronchitis (chest colds), sinusitis, or gastroenteritis (diarrhea).
Certain services are not paid for by OHIP and will be charged to you directly. Such services include completing certain forms, sick notes, transferring medical records, and procedures not deemed “medically necessary,” such as cosmetic procedures. Should you request one of these services, you will be advised of the charge and must agree to it prior to the service being completed. Payment is required at the time the service is completed. Cash and cheques are accepted. The fees assigned are as per the recommendations of the Ontario Medical Association. I do realize and will always take into consideration that some patients may not be able to pay for these services. Please do not hesitate to inform us if these charges pose a financial hardship to you. Alternative arrangements can be made. For a list of uninsured services and fees, please see attached.
14. Specialist Referrals:
Before any specialist referral is arranged, you must book an appointment with me for pre-consultation information gathering and investigations to facilitate a faster and more effective consultation.
15. Family Health Organization:
By “rostering” (signing up) with our group, you have access to the After-Hours Clinic and the Doctor on Call, as described above. You also have access to allied health services, including mental health counselling as well as dietitian and pharmacist consultations.
16. Medical Learners:
My office may host medical learners, including pre-medical students, medical/nursing students, and family medicine residents. These individuals will be involved in your care as appropriate, under supervision appropriate to their level of training and experience. Students and residents may also be supervised by video observation for educational and safety purposes. By signing these policies, you consent to such observation.
17. Zero Tolerance - Intimidation, Inappropriate Behaviour, Harassment, and Abuse:
Regardless of the circumstances, patients are expected to treat all members of the staff with courtesy and respect at all times, including over the telephone. Any form of inappropriate behaviour, including rudeness, argumentativeness, and foul or inappropriate language, is unacceptable, breaches the trust and respect between our team and you, and can result in your immediate termination from the practice.
I look forward to getting to know you and your family and promoting your health.