March 3, 2014 – As a new geriatrician in Carroll County, and presently one of only two practicing here, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to spend more time with each of my patients and offer more personalized care. Your first visit with me may be different from what you experience with other physicians. Three things you can expect from your first visit with me: LOTS of questions, an inventory of your medications (and LOTS of questions about them), and a follow-up appointment on the calendar before you leave.
As a geriatrician, getting to know my patients is really important. There must be a level of trust and openness between physician and patient. The key to getting to know you is asking a lot of questions about you, your medical history, your medications and your health goals.
At your first visit, I’ll want to see your medication bottles. All of them. While I know bringing all of your medications to the appointment can be cumbersome, I like to see the bottles for myself. I’d like to see them at every visit, but especially the first one. Having your medications at each visit accomplishes two things: it assures that your medication list is always accurate with me, and allows me and the medical assistant to verify the number of refills remaining to be sure that you do not run out of medications before your next visit.
Follow up appointments are the key to staying on the road to good health. Before you leave, expect to make a follow up appointment. Even if you aren’t sure what your schedule will be like in three months, make an appointment anyway. I never want any patient to fall through the cracks. Having an appointment on the schedule ensures that you won’t wake up one day and think “I haven’t seen the doctor in over a year!”
Kharia J. Holmes, M.D., is part of Carroll Health Group in Westminster, MD and sees patients in the Carroll Lutheran Village office. She earned her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga., and completed her internal medicine residency and a geriatric fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.