Common Questions

It’s healthy to ask questions

It’s natural to have questions about your health. We encourage our patients to ask their Center for Family Medicine healthcare team anything they would like to know or are wondering about. Below you’ll find a few common questions, but remember, we’re always here to help you better understand you and your family’s health.

1. What do you do there?
At the Center for Family Medicine we take care of the whole family. We have 12 board certified family medicine physicians and 27 family medicine residents who see patients here. We also have a Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Clinical Psychologist. We can see the baby of the family to the grandparents. We have an on-site lab and offer immunizations. We help to manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and many more. And we can help you monitor and manage your medications. We provide preventative care for the whole family- well baby checkups, well woman exams, diagnostic and screening exams. We can help in cases of minor emergencies- from fevers and respiratory infections to broken bones and lacerations.

2. Can I be seen today?
Chances are, you can. We accept walk-in patients during regular hours. Just keep in mind that scheduled appointments will get priority, so it’s always preferred to schedule an appointment ahead of time. If you’re experiencing a minor emergency that doesn’t warrant a trip to the emergency room, though, we will do our best to work you into the schedule.

3. Is my doctor in every day?
No – you may notice your regular doctor isn’t always in the clinic on an everyday basis. Our residents are often “on rotation” throughout the community, learning other important areas of healthcare on a four-week rotation schedule. They may host clinics around the area, such as at Falls Community Health Center, and residents are given specific amounts of weekly clinic time depending on their years of residency – a half-day for first-years, two half-days for second-years and three half-days for third-years.

4. Where is CFM?
We’re within the Avera main campus at the corner of Cliff Avenue and 20th Street in Plaza 2. You can park near the front door under the overhang, and we also have valet services as needed at the front of the building.

5. Are you part of Avera?
No. We are co-sponsored by both Avera and Sanford Health. We’re independent, but due to this sponsorship our physicians can see patients at either hospital as needed. We also have an affiliation with the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. We are also an in-network provider for Sanford and Avera plans, excluding the Sanford True Health Plan and Avera Direct Plan. 

6. What is residency?
Residency is the next stage of medical training for a resident physician who has received a medical degree (MD or DO) leading to eligibility for board certification in a primary care or referral specialty. A residency program exposes resident physicians to the care of hospitalized and clinic patients, with direct supervision by faculty physicians.

7. What is the “Team Approach”?
At the Center for Family Medicine we take a team approach to healthcare. This includes both in-office and if specialists are needed. Someone from the billing office, lab, nursing and physician(s) will all be involved in coordinating the most efficient and effective care to meet your needs. If specialists are needed, we will also direct relaying needed information and helping to manage those care plans. It becomes more efficient to see the same doctor, or at least the same team of doctors. Each team builds a relationship with their patients and has familiarity. So if you can’t get in to see your regular provider, you can see another member of his/her team.

8. What should I do before I come to my first appointment?
If you would like, when you schedule your first appointment you can ask them to send you the New Patient Information Packet. This packet will include the demographics and medical history form, as well as a map to find us, or you can come a few minutes early and fill them out in our office. We strongly recommend that you bring all medications that you are taking to every appointment. You will also need some information regarding your family’s medical history. You should bring your insurance card and an identification card.

9. Can I schedule an appointment online?
Existing patients can request an appointment through our patient portal- MyCFMchart. Right now we do not have the capability to accept online requests from patients that have not yet been seen at the Center for Family Medicine. For current patients, you can log into MyCFMchart and request an appointment and our schedulers will get back to you within 24 hours. If it is an emergency, please call our office directly if it is during business hours or call 911.

10. Can I view my medical record online?
Our current patients have access to view a number of areas of their medical record online. You can look up your lab results, see your upcoming appointment, review your demographic information, contact your nurse to ask a question or request a medication refill. You will have access to your educational documents, summaries of each visit, as well as your diagnoses and immunization history.