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What does a family physician (FP) do?
A well-trained family physician offers comprehensive and continuous primary healthcare to patients of all ages using the biosychosocial model.
How do family and general medicine differ?
General practitioners start practicing after obtaining their medical degree. FP's, receive four years of structured training after their medical degree. Family medicine is recognized as a specialty by the Lebanese government. This recognition permits FP's to receive higher remuneration for their services by the National Health Service in Lebanon.
What are the job opportunities for an FP?
There is a high need for FP's in the Arab countries; for example, lately one Arab country had an opening for 50 FP's. In Lebanon, a demand for FP's by insurance companies and non-governmental organizations has been recently noted. The main drive behind these recruitments is cost-effectiveness.
Is family medicine an easy specialty?
Family medicine is a hard specialty. An FP needs to be well acquainted with hundreds of medications and medical conditions. This requires hard work and long hours of continuous medical education.
I have been calling many times, but I cannot schedule an appointment.
- We strongly recommend that people schedule their appointments 3-4 days in advance to guarantee a slot with their personal doctor.
- Try frequently calling University Health Services (UHS) scheduler extensions : 3000
Explanation: Great efforts have been made to accommodate patients for appointments. The number of doctors available at UHS has doubled since 1994. We still see more than 50% of our patients every day without appointments. Our triage nurse also screens visitors to see if they need immediate care or can wait for a later appointment.
I am an HIP member and I have an ear pain, and I would like to visit an ENT doctor. How may I proceed?
- Get yourself examined by a UHS doctor.
- Accordingly, the UHS doctor will either treat you or refer you to a specialist.
Explanation: According to HIP regulations, the specialist doctor will not be reimbursed for any visit you may make on your own without a referral. If you have an ear pain or any kind of pain or problem, and you decide to refer yourself on your own to another doctor, you will have to pay the fees incurred by that referral, as clearly stipulated by HIP regulation book.
Does the infirmary cover health check ups for prevention?
- Yes, your doctor should provide you with an annual check up as needed based on the recommendation for health promotion and disease prevention.
What should I do if after seeing a UHS doctor I am not convinced of his/ her treatment? How to get a SECOND opinion?
- Be open and tell the doctor that you do not understand or agree with his/her treatment and management and that you would like to have a second opinion.
- From here on, it will depend on the judgment of the UHS doctor.
- He/She evaluates the necessity of receiving a second opinion outside UHS or might recommend that you visit another doctor at UHS.
- In the rare occasion where you disagree with the opinion of two UHS doctors, you may ask the UHS Director to address your case.
I have been assigned a personal doctor, what should I do if the doctor is not available?
Your assigned personal doctor will be able to respond better to your needs and the need of your family.
But in case you need to see a doctor urgently and your personal doctor is not available at UHS, you may see any other doctor available at the time needed.
I want to do some lab tests and check my cholesterol. Can I go ahead and do as I want?
According to HIP, only lab tests that are requested by physicians will be covered. Other lab tests will be charged to the patients; requesting lab cholesterol on your own would not be reimbursed.
Explanation: Your doctor would have to order this lab test as indicated by medical recommendations based on the need and not on your interest or curiosity. Medical indications for lab tests are standardized and are listed and all our doctors are trained at executing them.
What should I do if an emergency happens to me at home?
- Call 01350000 ext.: 8989
- Page the oncall doctor.
- You will be called back for further instructions and care.
What should I do if an emergency happens to me while on campus or in a classroom?
- If you CAN move, go to the emergency department (ED).
- If you CAN'T move, call 7777 and an AUBMC ED nurse will guide you. An ambulance will be sent if needed.
How do I get my sick leave authorized by UHS doctors?
- Sick leaves have to be signed by your supervisor (make sure to write your ID number and department on it).
- Then, refer to UHS Employee and Student Health office for medical evaluation. This is usually done without seeing the patient.
- The outside doctor's report is critically reviewed by UHS director.
- Students are given a medical report that they might use to justify missing classes or exams.
If the UHS director reviewing the sick leave thinks that there should be further evaluation, it is referred to one or two other doctors and the patient may be interviewed and the doctor originating sick leave may be contacted.
How much does the referral cost?
To requests a referral, a patient has to visit the University Health Services. For every visit to the UHS, a patient has to co-pay 3,000 LBP. An additional copayment is assigned by HIP.
Should the referral be taken before the appointment with the specialist?
You have to guarantee the referral before taking any appointments with the specialist.
After submitting a request for referral, how long does it take to be issued?
Around 48 hours (2 working days)
Can a patient directly go to a specialist?
The patient has to see a doctor at the infirmary. Then after evaluation, the doctor will judge whether the patient needs to visit a specialist or not.
What does the referral cover?
The referral covers all lab tests, x-rays and prescriptions that are given by the specialist for a period of three months plus the visit.
How many visits does a referral cover?
The referral covers one visit; however, there are some cases where the patient may need to request more than one visit. In such cases, the doctor has to judge.
Do I need a referral upon the first visit after the operation?
No referral is needed for a period of six weeks after the operation.
I have a chronic problem with seizure disorder that requires special medication and frequent follow ups .Can I get referrals for three monthly visits without seeing the UHS doctor?
- Make arrangements with your personal doctor at UHS to have your name listed on the automatic quarterly referrals to the specific doctors mentioned.
- Your case is to be reviewed by your personal doctor and the UHS administration, and then your name would be listed with the Employee Support Coordinator and you would be able to obtain the necessary referral by calling either the office at extension 3017 or presenting personally before 3 - Make an effort to call 7 days in advance. This will make your papers ready on time when needed.
I am used to going to doctor X for my GYN exam. Can I go to the specialist directly without seeing the UHS doctor first?
You need to visit your personal doctor, and upon his/her decision that it is not in his/her expertise, he/she will refer you as needed.
Explanation: The HIP plan restricts access to specialists that are not on contract with the university. This restriction is channeled through UHS. Like any Insurance Plan, it has certain advantages and disadvantages. Limitation of direct access to any doctor of one's own choice is one of the restrictions of the HIP. You can always go to any doctor of your choice but would have to pay the incurred fees. In return, the HIP ensures that the UHS doctors can provide the services that are needed. HIP will only reimburse those cases where the UHS doctors are not able to provide service.
I have a chronic prescription to renew on a monthly basis; what should I do?
When your personal doctor prescribes certain medications that are needed to be taken on a monthly basis in the case of a chronic disease, you have to inform the Chronic Disease Coordinator.
- Repeated NSSF prescriptions are automatically generated every month.
- Please visit us in person and discuss your case with the Chronic Disease Coordinator or your personal nurse.
Explanation: These prescriptions are reviewed periodically by your personal doctors who will need to see you and check your medications periodically. If a doctor modifies your chronic medications, please bring a copy of the new prescription to the Chronic Disease Coordinator at UHS to update your computer file.
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