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Frequently Asked Questions


How should I prepare for my visit?

  • Bring a list of symptoms or problems prompting the visit, including when they started.
  • Bring a list of the over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements (including herbal ones) that you are taking.
  • Jot down in advance any questions you want to ask or issues you need to have the physician clarify.
  • Arrive on time.
  • If you are a new patient, arrive early to fill out forms. You can fill out forms in advance by downloading them here »
  • Arrive early if your insurance requires a copayment.
  • To prevent any distractions to you or the physician, please turn off your cell phone when you are in the exam room.
  • Bring a friend or family member to supervise any children accompanying you while the children wait for you in the reception area.
  • Advise your physician of any changes to your health history, such as weight loss or gain, modifications to diet, new exercise program, etc.

Who can I talk to about a complaint?

We take pride in the quality of service we provide our patients. If you have a less-than-excellent experience at either of our offices, please let OSI’s Office Administrator know. Every effort will be made to immediately resolve any issues.

You may also share complaints via our Patient Satisfaction boxes, which are located in our exam rooms. This is a great way to share compliments, too!

If you’d prefer to write to us, please do. You can address your letter, care of, “Administrator” to OSI, 1875 N. Lakewood Dr., Ste. 200, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.

What is a physician’s assistant (PA)?

A physician assistant (PA) is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. PAs practice with the supervision of a physician. They receive training from an accredited PA program. PAs can take health histories, perform physical exams, order diagnostics tests, prescribe most medications, diagnose or treat injuries, and provide patient education. PAs can also perform more extensive procedures that are within their specialties. The initials PA-C after their surname means the physician assistant is certified and has passed the certification exam developed jointly by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the NCCPA.

What is a medical assistant (MA)?

A medical assistant (MA) works alongside a physician in such places as medical offices and clinics. MAs are cross-trained to perform administrative and clinical duties. Administrative duties include scheduling appointments and handling correspondence. Clinical duties include taking medical histories, explaining treatment procedures to patients, assisting the physician during exams, instructing patients about medication, drawing blood, and removing sutures and changing dressings. MAs may or may not be CMA (AAMA) certified.

What does it mean that a physician is fellowship trained?

After medical school, physicians complete a three- to five-year residency. Some physicians choose to pursue additional training to become subspecialists. Subspecialty training, ranging from one year to four years, is narrow and allows the physician to obtain knowledge and skills needed to perform additional procedures or focus on treating patients with a particular type of problem.

What is an orthopedic specialist?

An orthopedic specialist focuses on one specific area of orthopedics. As a result of this subspecialty training, these physicians have a high level of expertise in diagnosing and treating conditions and injuries affecting specific areas of the body. Such advanced training and experience generally results in better outcomes and fewer complications for patients. At OSI, all of our surgeons have developed a highly refined area of expertise to facilitate better patient care. Their subspecialized focus allows them to be more knowledgeable in the diagnosis, repair, and rehabilitation of related problems.

Do I need a referral to see a specialist?

Generally, it is not necessary to receive a referral from a primary care doctor to see a specialist. However, some insurance carriers do require patients to see their primary care physician first. If you’re unsure, contact your insurance carrier or our office and we will assist you.

How can I get a copy of my medical record?

You can access your medical records through our online patient portal, which you can access from our home page. Or you can sign a release of information and we can send you your records. We can send them to your primary care provider, as well.