Wiscasset Family Medicine will be closing today February 7th at 1:00 pm. We will reopen on Thursday, February 8th at 8:30 am. Please remember that we do have a provider on call 24/7, we’re here when you need us. Stay safe everyone!
Wiscasset Family Medicine recognizes that tick season in Maine continues and seems to have been year round this year. We are putting out a request regarding tick bites that happen when the office is closed:
We have 24 hour on call services to provide guidance when the office is closed. If you have a concern that can wait until office hours, please call the office after it has opened. “On call services” are our providers taking call from home. If it is a weekend, please attempt to call between 7am and 7pm. Preventive (prophylactic) dose of antibiotics for tick bites can be given within 72 hours of tick removal (if the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours). We would request that you call on call services during the day. This will improve your chances of alert, thoughtful, effective care.
If you are looking for more information about removing ticks, treating tick bites or lyme disease, please reference maine.gov or cdc website. Additionally, we would be happy to have an appointment to discuss any concerns you may have, in the office during office hours.
Wiscasset Family Medicine will be offering flu clinics (easy way to get a quick vaccine!) starting in Late September and we recommend waiting until late September to get your flu shot. If you are traveling for the winter, we can do it before you leave, but peak flu season is December through February.
Why should I get the flu vaccine – I’m healthy!
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the vulnerable members of our community from influenza.
Will the vaccine cause the flu?
No, a flu shot cannot cause the virus. Flu vaccines given with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). The most common side effects from the influenza shot are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur.
Please let us know if we can answer any questions for you about the flu vaccine! We want our community to have a safe and healthy winter.
Here we are!!! The most beautiful time of the year can be autumn in Maine.
Now is your chance to find a routine for activity. It’s not “too hot” and it’s not “too cold” and we still have light and the kids are in school, the traffic is better and the community center and ymca is open and WOW!
You have NO excuses. This is the time of year to enjoy our great weather AND start thinking about how you will stay active over the next six months.
Let us know what you’re up to! You can walk, run, take an exercise class, bike, swim, golf, dance, pogo stick, play tag, kickball…..what else?? Post a picture of your activity on our facebook page or instagram, tweet at us “@WiscassetFamMed” or do whatever you do and #WFM, #activeoctober, and throw in a #mainefall and let’s get the word out there!!
If you aren’t on social media, let us know what you are up to when you come in for a flu shot or use the portal or tell us at your wellness visit – we are rooting for you and want to hear about your active fun!!
It’s that time again! Let’s delve into the life of one of the more experienced members of Wiscasset Family Medicine, Sarah Robey. She is known for her kindness and wisdom, but I am impressed by her longevity in this field where so many get burned out. I have to find out how/ why and what she is doing to have made it this far and still have the spark of enthusiasm!
Dr. Linville: Sarah, how and when did you decide to become a Physician Assistant?
Sarah Robey: My father was a pediatrician and I had thought about going to medical school, but my real dream was to have a farm and a family, and to be able to earn a living in a rural area. The concept of being a PA was still very new in the mid 1970s. The first day at Johns Hopkins our class was warned that it was likely we would never have a job, that this new career might never take off and that we were taking a big chance going through our training. When I graduated virtually no one knew what a PA was. Dr. Kitfield took a chance on me 36 years ago.
Dr. Linville: Please share a few of your favorite things about practicing at Wiscasset Family Medicine.
Sarah Robey: We are a private practice so we make our own decisions and create our own culture. We have always practiced as partners to our patients, encouraging them to captain their own ship as much as possible, giving patients the tools they need to stay healthy. In the office we work as a team, and every voice is valued. We strive to keep growing and changing, remain open to new ideas and changes in society. Collaborating with specialists in Maine and beyond is one of the things I enjoy most.
Dr. Linville: What do you like to do most with your free time?
Sarah Robey: I am self described manic gardener/viewscaper. I have been working on a 50 acre wood lot since I moved to Maine in the 1970s. I have created huge perennial gardens and a vegetable garden. We burn our own firewood. I am a Tree Farmer and I love to build stone walls. I often am seen with a chainsaw in hand or on a tractor. I also love to travel, mostly walking long distances in Europe.
Dr. Linville: What are some of the bigger changes (positive or negative) that you have seen in healthcare during your tenure?
Sarah Robey: The loss of Mainecare for low income adults has been a terrible thing. When I came to Maine in the 1970s I saw diseases you mostly read about in text books because people lacked access to preventive care. We seem to be returning to that era for a large segment of our community, many people lack insurance and have no ability to take on medical bills so they stay away from care. Additionally the rising cost of pharmaceuticals is astounding.
Dr. Linville: Please tell us something that patients and staff might not know about you.
- I have worked as a cowboy in both Alberta and New Mexico.
- I dug peat in the Hebrides for the Laphroig Scotch distillery.
- I made the first ascent of Mt. Tom White in the Chugach Range in Alaska.
- My husband is the Curator of Exhibits at the Maine Maritime Museum.
- I have a rule in my life that everyday I don’t work at the office I have to create something that makes the world more beautiful or interesting.
Wiscasset Family Medicine is taking new patients, today! Please call 882-6008 or register through the patient portal.
Wiscasset Family Medicine is offering the Acute Same-Day Commitment: You’ll see a primary care practitioner the same day.
If you woke up sick this morning, had to leave work or had an unexpected injury – we have you covered with our Same-Day Appointments. When you need to be seen, we don’t want you to wait. Depending on the level of care you need and the time of day your appointment request is received, you’ll be seen by a provider that day.
- Sore Sprains and minor fractures
- Bladder infection-UTI
- Cough, sore throat and fever
- Eye infection
- Tick Bites
- Sinus Symptoms
When are acute same-day appointments available?
Same-day appointments are available Monday – Friday, (excluding holidays). However, if you are calling to schedule a physical or yearly wellness exam, or your need is not urgent, it is possible a same-day appointment might not be offered to you. While we strive to accommodate all same-day appointment requests, it is our priority is to offer such appointments to those patients with urgent needs.
What time do I need to call by to schedule a acute same-day appointment?
If you call earlier in the day, we’ll work with you to schedule a same-day appointment. If you call later in the afternoon, and there are no longer appointments available that day, we will schedule you for the next business day.
Is it possible to get acute same-day appointments with my primary care provider?
Due to availability and scheduling capabilities, we will help you schedule a same-day appointment with the provider that is available that day, if he or she has an appointment available at the time of your request your appointment will be scheduled with them. Same-day appointments may not always be scheduled with your primary care provider.
When to call 911?
Life-threatening conditions require immediate treatment at your nearest emergency room or by calling 911. Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day and patients with the most serious conditions are treated first. Call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Department if you think you’re experiencing a life-threatening condition or symptoms such as:
- Any sudden or severe pain, or unusual abdominal pain
- Changes in vision
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure lasting two minutes or more
- Confusion or changes in mental status, unusual behavior, difficulty walking
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Difficulty speaking
- Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
- Uncontrolled bleeding
Sarah Hurley is a Physician Assistant who would be immediately recognized by her current patients for her welcoming smile and great insight. She is open to seeing new patients as well, as part of the team at Wiscasset Family Medicine.
I thought it would be great to give her a chance to tackle five questions:
Dr. Linville: Sarah, where are you from and what are your favorite parts of Maine?
Sarah: I am from coastal Connecticut where I was lucky enough to spend much of my childhood on a little secluded beach that was my playground. My family also owned a small ski cabin in Vermont where I was able to grow up skiing the local mom and pop ski hills. The ocean and the mountains are the elements that make me feel whole and free and Maine has them both! A couple favorite spots are Simpsons Point in Brunswick (where I live) and Saddleback Ski Mountain.
Dr. Linville: How do you like to stay healthy in the winter?
Sarah: Fresh air, steamy showers and honey as a general cure all!
Dr. Linville: What do you like most about working at WFM?
Sarah: My fellow practitioners enrich my days with their knowledge and friendship. Wiscasset Family Medicine feels like home, aesthetically and emotionally, and this carries over into the personal care we are able to provider our patients. I also relish the privilege of welcoming new babies to the practice and watching them thrive.
Dr. Linville: Where would you go on a warm weather trip if you could snap your fingers and arrive?
Sarah: My husband, our toddler daughter and I travelled to a little island off the coast of Belize this past spring. There were no cars, few tourists and a totally laid back and present vibe. We stayed in a beach bungalow and rode rusty old bikes with my daughter in the handlebar basket. My daughter said it best when we arrived and she said “Mommy, my body feels good here”. I agree.
Dr. Linville: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of our website?
Sarah: I am passionate about Women’s Health! I welcome our female patients to come chat with me about contraception, sexual and reproductive health.
“Any Fool Can Be Miserable”
- says Mr. Rafter, Mary’s Dad
It doesn’t feel like it, but winter WILL get here and one of the things we hear around the office is “I can’t exercise in the winter, it’s too cold.” If you live in a place where it is generally safe to walk outside, cold weather should not be your excuse for keeping it up! Here are some answers to your specific concerns:
1.) “I can’t breathe!!”: Cold air is not dangerous for your lungs!! If you experience shortness of breath or spasms of coughing while exercising, you may have “cold induced bronchospasm”. Come on in, let’s talk about it, but don’t skip your walk on a gloriously cold Maine winter day!
2.) “I might fall!!” : Consider an add on to your shoes – snow shoes when it’s deep or attachments for your boots/shoes that act as ice cleats to grip the ice and snow. Many local retailers carry ways to help you grip, so you don’t slip!
3.) “It’s toooooo cold”: The answer is to layer up! Come on – first of all you’re in Maine, you are already tougher than most people in the country, so your first layer is your thick blood. Then consider a base layer of long underwear when it is really cold or a close fitting t-shirt. You can add a hooded sweatshirt or a long sleeved shirt with something to protect your neck and then a wind blocking, warm outer layer. Don’t forget to cover your ears and fingers! Your legs can be warmed up with leggings or long underwear and then jeans or pants. For heaven’s sake, put on some wool socks – they work and they come in non-itchy versions and you can get them at Reny’s! (or any retail establishment of your choosing).
4.) “It’s dark and lonely!” Find a flashlight and a friend. It won’t be dark for long. Consider the rule of three – skip the exercise if it is cold AND dark AND precipitating. But two out of three? Bundle up, find some company and get out there – don’t be a fool, or miserable.
Enjoy the winter! (When it comes….)
As the “new doc on the block”, I have been getting to know the enthusiastic and varied staff at Wiscasset Family Medicine. Mary Rafter, Nurse Practitioner is one of the clinicians in our practice currently open to new patients. When I heard that she grew up in this town, I was excited to learn more about her. I’ve subjected her to the questions below:
Dr. Linville: What is one of your favorite memories of growing up in Wiscasset?
Mary: My thoughts immediately leap to memories of sledding down Tucker Hill. When I was younger, the town used to close the bottom half of Lee Street in the winter, and allow it to become a sledding hill for the community. We would trudge down the snowy sidewalks with our runner sleds and spend hours chasing each other up and down the hill. The embankment at the base of Bradbury street was a great bank turn that would often catapult us down towards the water. It was always a goal to sled all the way to Whites Island. We never made it that far- but that didn’t stop us from trying.
Dr. Linville: What drew you to train to become a Nurse Practitioner and what are some things you enjoy about your career now?
Mary: As a sailing instructor for Outward Bound I found myself fascinated by the medicinal qualities of native plants of the coast of Maine. I began to study herbalism and to spend a lot of time thinking about concepts of health education and food as medicine. I gradually began to see the role of the Nurse Practitioner as being a teacher- helping people to explore their concepts of well being. Optimizing health is unique to each of us- and I really enjoy exploring people’s priorities and then creating a plan to help them reach their goals.
Dr. Linville: If you could live anywhere other than Maine, where would it be and why?
Mary: I’d probably be exploring the world from aboard a sailboat. I love the freedom of capturing the wind to reach new horizons. I’ve often wanted to sail across the North Atlantic and see the Scandinavian coastline, so that’s where the journey would likely start. I’d have to wait and see where the winds and currents would take me from there.
Dr. Linville: Do you have any advice for patients for when they come in to an appointment?
Mary: I think that it’s helpful to come prepared with general goals of the visit in mind. Knowing your aspirations and questions at the beginning of a visit helps me to structure our time together in a way that feels effective and supportive.
Dr. Linville: We are coming in to another winter, what is your favorite Maine Winter adventure?
Mary: I always look forward to putting some miles on my cross country skis between. I love being deep in the woods amidst deep snow and brisk air.
Thank you, Mary!
Wiscasset Family Medicine will be closed Thursday and Friday November 26th & 27th so that our employees have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday with their families.
We are open to see patients Monday November 30th 2015 at 7:30 A.M. This office does provide 24 hour on call services, should you need to speak to the on call provider please call 207-882-1056.
From our family to yours, wishing you blessings of health, happiness & success on Thanksgiving & always!