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David T. Butler, M.D.
Many times, even after scheduling “annuals”, patients have questions as to what I do or what is included in an annual. Annuals, also known as physicals, preventive care, well care, etc. are geared at allowing for a thorough and comprehensive history and exam. My focus during this time includes reviewing your health history and ongoing symptoms, counseling about personal/family risk factors and possible lifestyle changes, and ordering of screening tests. These include cholesterol, blood sugar/diabetes screening, liver/kidney function tests, prostate tests (for men over 50), thyroid function testing, blood counts, as well as the possible ordering of mammogram, bone density and colonoscopy. I discuss vitamins, nutrition and exercise. As part of your complete physical exam I include a full skin exam and generally include a pap smear/breast exam for women and prostate exam for men. I generally allow about 30-40 minutes total for well care; 10 minutes with staff to update information and to get vital signs, and about 20-30 minutes with the physician.
If your priority today is not preventive care, but rather to follow-up on issues, review a list of new health concerns, or to get refills on medications, you will be asked to schedule a separate visit to discuss, evaluate, manage and treat these conditions. As a physician that strives for superior care, I do not want to rush through your appointment (possibly missing something important) by attempting to address your wellness/maintenance as well as trying to tackle these other health concerns.
I pride myself on setting high standards for my practice and thus enjoy spending more time with my patients than many other offices. I not only strive to provide great quality healthcare and health education, but also to develop a close professional relationship with my patients. I am trained in many aspects of outpatient medicine, including dermatology, endocrinology, allergy, orthopedics, psychiatry, urology, gynecology and preventive medicine and enjoy being able to meet the vast majority of your health care needs. It is sometimes difficult for us to meet all those needs in one visit! As always, I will strive to provide top quality, compassionate, scientifically sound medical care, but out of respect to the patients we have scheduled after you we may at times have to ask you to schedule a second visit for issues not addressed owing to time. I thank you in advance for your understanding.