Getting the Most Out of Your Doc Visit

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Dr. Jen Mushtaler (OB JEN)

We all know that scheduling timely and routine visits to the doctor is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle.  However, many patients feel like their visits to the doctor are rushed. Here are some helpful tips from the insiders to help you get the most out of your appointment.

Scheduling is key.

First step to a successful visit is in the scheduling. Make sure you let the scheduler know what you need to address with the doctor so that your doctor can schedule the appropriate amount of time. Otherwise, your doctor may then be rushed to give everything full attention, and sometimes additional procedures need prior authorization with insurance. In our office, we try to schedule patient’s appropriate time based on the stated reason for the visit.

Plan head so you are not rushed.

Second, make sure you are not rushed for your appointment. We have had patients try to squeeze something in before they have to pick-up children or make a work meeting or another appointment. Ask the scheduler what is a reasonable amount of time to allot for your visit. Also, some days of the week may be more or less busy in the doctor’s office and may require more time. Many things can happen at your appointment time to get even the best planned schedules behind, so give a little extra wiggle room in case.

Bring a list of your medications with you.

Bring an accurate list of your medications with you to your appointment. Better yet, bring all your prescriptions and any vitamins with you. Some medications can interfere with each other or worse, be harmful, so you want your medical providers to have an up-to-date and complete list. Also, be sure your provider knows if you have stopped medications as well. New to the doctor? Bring a written list of any medical issues and previous surgeries.

Bring a list of questions for the doc.

Most of my patients are great about jotting down questions for their visit on their phone or I-pad or an old-fashioned piece of paper. I love it and encourage all patients to do that. It is easy to get nervous or even side-tracked during a visit and then remember after you left that you wanted to ask about something that did not get covered. Also, let your doctor know at the beginning of the visit that you brought your questions. It helps us to plan the time during your visit to allow for discussion.

Getting additional tests?

Ask your doctor specifically what labs they will order so you can make sure that those labs are drawn. Then make sure you know the timeline for your results and how those will be communicated. Some offices are able to let patients check their own results online. In our office, we notify patients of results. I am not a fan of no news is good news because I have seen results get lost that need follow-up.

Getting a new prescription?

Confirm with your doctor what medications are being ordered. Most prescriptions are now faxed electronically, but to be your own best advocate you should know what medications you are taking, old and new. Also, sometimes pharmacies will offer to substitute generics and that’s when some mistakes can happen.

Check prescription coverage with your insurance company.

Another helpful hint, if you know you will be needing a particular type of medication, check to see what the level of coverage is with your insurance company. Different medications may have different co-pays, so if your doctor knows what is covered at tier 1, they may be able to help guide you to something more affordable and just as effective. Unfortunately, we don’t have that information and it is certainly not our intention to prescribe a medication the patient will be unable to take because of costs. For example, birth controls are covered by insurers now, but not all name brands or types may be covered by a particular plan. Don’t forget to have your pharmacy of choice ready to give your doctor’s office as well.

Happy scheduling!

Remember, the best way to get the most out of your appointment is to make sure that both you and your doctor’s office have scheduled appropriately and that you are prepared with an up-to-date list of medicines and concerns to be addressed.

To schedule an appointment with Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas, visit www.capobgyn.com or call 512-83-OB-JEN.


Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

Dr. Catherine Browne was recently invited to join the Austin Girl Scouts Beyond gsBars semimonthly gathering as a guest speaker. She enjoyed the opportunity to represent Capital Ob/Gyn in the community and speak with the girls about their health related questions.

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) is a program that equips girls ages 5 to 17 whose mothers are incarcerated with the tools they’ll need to succeed, while also strengthening the mother/daughter bond through regular visits. The Austin based GSBB meets semimonthly as a group and regularly engages local leaders to speak on relevant topics.

In February, Dr. Browne shared with the fifth through twelfth grade girls of GSBB on the topic of health. It is very important that these girls have a safe environment where they feel comfortable asking questions and where they can receive an educated response to their questions. It was evident that the GSBB has created an environment that meets this need, and that they are having a significant impact on the growth and leadership development of these girls.

Dr. Browne noted that the girls were very curious and open with their questions. Their questions ranged from “What is the Gardasil shot and what is HPV?” to discussions about the dangers of smoking and alcohol. They were also very interested in learning more about becoming a medical professional, the level of education needed and what a typical work day looks like.  Our hope is that each girl left that gathering better equipped to make educated choices when it comes to their health.

The Capital Ob/Gyn team is thankful to have the opportunity to connect with such valuable causes like GSBB and to serve our community. To learn more about our practice visit www.capobgyn.com or call us at 512-836-2536 if you have any questions or to schedule your next appointment.


Summer News from Capital Ob/Gyn Associates

Thank you so much for your referrals, your praises and your online Yelp’s! Summer 2012 comes with several exciting updates. We are proud to announce our growing staff and team of physicians as well as our lovely expanded office space. Don’t worry though! We are keeping our comfortable and cozy feel.  Please join us for our open house in August and come see for yourself. In the meantime, read on to learn more about what’s new at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates!

Our Expanding Staff and Team of Physicians

Welcome Dr. Jane Braunstein and nurse Susan Paschall.  Dr. Jane Braunstein joined the practice in June 2012 and looks forward to meeting both new and existing patients.

Dr. Catherine Browne and her family are settling in nicely and loving the Austin community. Since joining the team in October 2011, Dr. Browne’s gentle demeanor and reassuring manner have been a great fit at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates.

Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler (OB JEN) is so happy with the growth and success of Capital Ob/Gyn Associates. She still finds time to stay active in the health and fitness arena. Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas sponsored the Skeese Greets Triathlon and the Couples Triathlon. She and her husband Trent were spotted last weekend participating on the Couples Triathlon course as Team OB JEN. They make quite a team as weekend warriors!

Health and Lifestyle Fair at The University of Texas 7.20.12

Tomorrow, the Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas Staff will be participating in a health and lifestyle fair at the University of Texas at Austin.  They look forward to meeting over 24,000 staff members and employees at UT and educating women of all ages about health and wellness.

Barta Boys Update

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas would also like to thank all those who lovingly supported and donated to the Barta Boys. We are pleased to report that the boys are making a miraculous recovery. We can’t wait to welcome Barbara back to the office later this month. Our professional and caring office staff creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere at the practice, ensuring your comfort each and every visit.

Our Expanded Office Space

If you haven’t been to the office in the last few months, you’ll see that we’ve moved a little down the hall! Our new space has allowed us to grow our team at our same convenient location, suite 325. We are located at Parmer and Mopac next to the St. David’s Austin Medical Center on Renfert Way.

Open House August 16th What better way to tour our new office space, meet our new staff members and chat with our physicians than an Open House! Guests are invited to join us at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates on Thursday, August 16th from 4-7pm. Hors d’oevres and beverages will be served. Visit our website for directions.

All of our physicians are accepting new patients and look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas! To schedule an appointment with any of our physicians, call 512-836-2536 or visit www.capobgyn.com.


Welcome, Come On In!

Welcome to Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas!

Our first month of operations has been a blast!  OB JEN has created a welcoming and nurturing environment for patients at her new practice, allowing patients to feel at ease and comfortable throughout their entire appointment process.  We are so pleased with the new office layout and the friendly staff welcomes patients with open arms.  

You might recognize our new Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas logo on our new scrubs at the office — we are loving the bright colors and professional appearance of the new logo!   

Be sure to schedule an appointment with OB JEN — we look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas!  Visit our website at www.capobgyn.com or call us at 512-83-OBJEN.