Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking for more information on specific topics, you’ve come to the right place. This is where we share the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

  • A: Our online booking system is easy and fast. Check out this article and video that gives you a step by step tutorial on making online appointments.
    A: To book a general healthcare appointment click on the title of this FAQ or visit:
    To book a COVID-19 vaccination or booster click on the title of this FAQ or visit:
    Please call our clinic to make an appointment for our Saturday flu shot.
  • A: According to the College of Family Physicians of Canada, timely access has been rated by patients as one of the most important elements of primary care. To achieve timely access to appointments, different appointment booking models are being employed by family practices. One of the strategies currently being implemented by many is same-day/advanced access scheduling. Same-day scheduling, also known as advanced access and open access, typically requires that practices do “today’s work today” by offering the vast majority of patients the opportunity to book their appointments on the day they call regardless of the reason for the visit.
  • A: Our providers and staff aim to make your visit a pleasant one. In our efforts to make your visit more comfortable and to minimize your wait time, our office has implemented a late arrival policy. If a patient is more than 10 minutes late for an appointment, the appointment may need to be rescheduled. This is to ensure that the patients who arrive on time do not wait longer than necessary to see the provider. You may be given the option to wait for another appointment time on the same day if one is available. We will try to accommodate late‐comers as best as possible but cannot compromise on the quality and timely care provided to our other patients. All patients are encouraged to arrive at the office at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment to register and complete any required paperwork. We appreciate your compliance and understanding with this policy so that we can continue to provide excellent medical care as well as excellent customer service. If you have any questions about this policy, we would be happy to talk to you in detail about it. Thank you for your co-operation and understanding. Your Winterberry Family Medicine Team
  • A: Virtual appointments are contactless, private, easy to access and have been shown to be equally as effective as in-person medical care for most medical issues.
  • A: Yes. Your appointments whether in our clinic or online are private. For more information on privacy rules for virtual medical appointments visit this page.
  • A: At Winterberry, we’re privileged to offer the services of Nurse Practitioners. Nurse Practitioners hold advanced nursing degrees 3 and can provide many services Physicians can offer (including examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, prescriptions, renewals) independently of Physicians. Furthermore, NPs that work along-side a Physician can expand their scope even further to provide you the range of medical services you may require, at any time. Having NPs as part of our team allows patients better access to full-range medical care when you need it. For full description of a Nurse Practitioner please visit:
  • A: Along with Nurse Practitioners, PAs have advanced university degrees 4 and are able to help diagnose, investigate, treat and prescribe under the guidance of a Physician (see HealthForceOntario link for complete descriptions here). Again the goal of PAs is to improve patient access to quality care and avoid urgent-care, ER or walk-in visits and we have been supported by HealthForceOntario in the implementation of PAs at Winterberry.
  • A: Winterberry is privileged to be a member of the Hamilton Family Health Team (HFHT). With the support of the HFHT and the Physicians at Winterberry, we’ve created a list of services that can be safely and efficiently delivered to you through our Registered Nurses, whom have had appropriate (and often times extra) training in the multitude of services they provide. Alongside the Physician, our RNs are able to conduct preventive health assessments, maintenance diabetic visits, blood pressure checks, well baby exams, prenatal exams, well woman and male checks, urinary tract infections, and many others. Again the idea behind care being provided by RNs alongside Physicians is that you have greater access to care when you need it – creating a health care ‘team’ that you can appropriately access when needed.
  • A: Medical Directives are tools Physicians use to provide care to patients via Non-Physicians safely and effectively. As the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario suggests Medical Directives and Delegation to other appropriately trained health care providers in certain circumstances “can result in more timely delivery of health care, and can promote optimal use of health­care resources and personnel.”

    SickKids in Toronto uses Medical Directives and reports “In an era of physician shortages, medical directives provide a method of supporting inter-professional team based care. Our experience building this alternate care model via medical directive management has culminated in a framework of critical appraisal, review, approval and evaluation coupled with document management innovations. These structures and processes produce safe and positive outcomes that increase access within a continually evolving framework that ensures rigour and accountability.
  • Thinking about becoming a Winterberry patient? We’d love to have you. Take a quick tour of our website and if what you see fits, please visit our Patient Sign Up page at (Note: Currently our clinic is at RED status and we are not accepting new patients. Please check back with us later.)

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