Information for new patients and Frequently Asked Questions

Are we a good fit for you as a new patient?

Being a solo Internal Medicine practice we do offer the advantage of a more intimate setting where you will not be seeing multiple different health care providers-- just Dr. Torkelson. We have a small number of staff members to work with: one receptionist, one medical assistant, and one clinic manager/nurse. This means we will get to know you better and hopefully, will not "get lost in the shuffle". Our small practice size also means we have some limited resources and can sometimes be overwhelmed. Our staff is hard working and we strive to please our patients and enjoy working with you to help solve the problem at hand.

Unfortunately, there are some things due to the size of our practice that we are unable to accommodate. While our practice is open to all patients there are certain situations which are are not able to currently handle. We are currently we are not taking on new chronic pain patients for the purpose of dispensing their narcotics.

We do carry most of the major insurance plans, but there are some plans, due to our smaller practice size and volume which we cannot afford to carry. For more detail on this, please see our Billing and Insurance tab at the top of this page.

If you have any specific questions about your situation, please do not hesitate to contact us directly and we will see what we can suggest or offer.

We look forward to having you establish with us as a new patient!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dr. Torkelson accepting new patients?

Yes. We do not carry all insurance and due to our small practice size are not accepting Medicare insurance. We do see patients who have Medicare, but this is on a cash pay basis.

Do you accept patients without insurance?

Yes. It is on a "cash up front" basis.

How long does it take to get in to see Dr. Torkelson as a new patient?

It can take between a few weeks and a month currently to establish as a new patient.

As an established patient, how long does it take to see Dr. Torkelson with an urgent problem?

We have same day and next day appointment spots available. Call our staff as soon as possible after our phones turn on a 8:00 am to schedule.

Does Dr. Torkelson do complete physical examinations on the first office visit?

Generally, no. We like to meet the patient and start to collect some information and request previous records before doing the complete physical examination.

Do you use electronic health records?

"Yes, we stopped using paper charts in 2002 and have been on an electronic medical record since that time.

Are my records safe?

We use the latest password protected and encryption standards to protect sensitive patient information.

Will Dr. Torkelson work with my Naturopathic Physician?

We do share labwork and information with our patient's complementary medicine practitioners and are more than willing to work with them.

Does Dr. Torkelson use email?

No. We do utilize CureMD electronic medical record patient portal for routine communication. Normal email is not HIPAA compliant or secure and should not be used for sensitive patient communication. The CureMD portal is not intended for urgent problems for weekend communication. Call our office number to reach the after hours on call doctor for urgent problems.

Will Dr. Torkelson treat me over the telephone or email?

Generally no. There is value in seeing and examining our patients in person.

Does Dr. Torkelson prescribe narcotics?

Yes, but for a short period of time only and very carefully. Narcotics (mood altering drugs which include medications such as Vicodin, Percocet. Valium. Xanax) are a large problem in our country. Some people need to be on pain medicines chronically, but this is best handled with a pain management clinic. Please visit Stay Safe Oregon for more information.

Who is on call after hours?

On weeknights, Dr. Torkelson covers the practice on his pager for urgent problems which cannot wait until the next business day. On the weekends, Dr. Torkelson shares call with 2 other solo Internal Medicine doctors. You can always call our main number to reach a live person.

How should I fill prescriptions?

If it is a regular medication that you are on, then contact your pharmacy first. If you need a new prescription, call the office to work out details of whether you should be seen in the office as the next step.