Commonly Asked Questions
What is a retina specialist?
A retina specialist is a medical doctor that has completed four years of medical school, further specializing in the field of Ophthalmology for an additional four years, and further undergoing an additional 2-3 year fellowship in the subspecialty of retinal disease.
I have a referral, what happens now?
Once we have received a referral for you directly from your provider's office, our Patient Care Services Team will triage and process your referral within 48 hours of receiving it. We will contact and offer you an appointment for your Diagnostic Imaging and consultation with a specialist. Urgent referrals from health care providers are processed as such, by a specialized patient services team that is sensitive to the urgency of patients wanting to be seen by a provider as soon as possible. If your referral is not accepted, we will discuss this with your referring provider. Sometimes we do receive referrals that are best suited for a different type of specialist clinic and we are happy to discuss this with your referring provider.
How can I Prepare for my Appointment?
1. Please fill out your registration forms ahead of time 2. Arrange your transportation ahead of time, if your eyes are being dilated at your appointment. (Not sure? Please call or email us, and we will remind you!) 3. Bring a pair of eye glasses (please do not wear contact lenses to your appointment!), and sunglasses (should you experience temporary light sensitivity after having your eyes dilated with eye drops. 4. Bring a list of questions you have prepared ahead of time to discuss with your doctor.
Do you take OHIP?
Yes, of course we do! As with all hospitals and medical clinics in Ontario, services that are covered by OHIP are also covered here at VRM Toronto. Note: Your health card must be valid on the date you are seen in clinic. We also see international and out of province patients who do not have OHIP. Everyone is welcome!
Do I have to wear a mask in clinic?
Yes, a medical grade mask is required for all visitors (patients and their companions in clinic). You may bring your own mask, or you may purchase one in clinic for a nominal fee (1$)
I had my imaging done at another office. Do I have to repeat it again with you?
Retina Specialists work together with other eye care providers (such as optometrists and general ophthalmologists) to care for your eyes. Often, during a general eye exam, a provider may notice something that is not "normal" in your retina and this may flag their attention to send a referral to a retina specialist (like us) or further evaluation and study with the hope that the problem may be correctly diagnosed and/or treated. Sometimes treatment is not warranted. When it is, your doctor will go over all options with you so you are able to make an informed decision as to what you would like to do next. At VRM Toronto, we offer our patients access to different imaging modalities to help diagnose underlying pathologies they may have in their eye(s). Like MRI's and CT scans, certain technologies are more helpful in visualizing the area of concern and helping to arrive at a diagnosis to help treat our patients. You may think of them as highly specialized photographs that take a good deal of technical training to take and years of study to interpret and understand. Please know that all tests are not appropriate or warranted for every patient. In some cases, diagnostic imaging is not covered by OHIP. Again, and to be clear, the imaging modalities that are recommended for you are specific and individualized to your the referral we received from your doctor, about your eyes. These additional imaging modalities allow us to make a precise diagnosis, allowing us to better help you. Please note: You have the right to decline non-OHIP/uninsured imaging, however we will not make clinical decisions based on images taken at another office/clinic as we are medically liable/responsible for decisions we make. Any relevant imaging that is covered by OHIP will still also need to be repeated as we cannot be medically liable for images taken at other facilities.
How do I make an appointment here?
In order to be seen as a patient in our clinics, you must have a valid referral. Please seek the advice of your primary eye care provider (Ophthalmologist or Optometrist) to guide you as to whether or not a referral is appropriate. Please note, we do not accept self-referred patients or walk-ins. If you have a concern, we strongly encourage you to communicate with your trusted health professional to guide you in determining the best next steps for you!
Can I bring a visitor or companion into clinic?
With the exception of those patients who require a translator and those who are not able to ambulate in clinic on their own, all visitors will be asked to drop off at door. Our patient services team will call your companion once your appointment is over at a number you provide. If you do require a companion, please call or email the clinic AHEAD of time so we can make arrangements for your guest. Please review our visitor policy under the For Patients Tab in the main Menu. Please remember, a medical mask must be worn over your nose, mouth, and chin at all times if you are a patient or visitor in this clinic.
What does DABO mean at the end of my doctor's name?
DABO stands for "Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology. Certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology is a voluntary process that involves a written and an oral examination. A candidate who passes both the written qualifying and oral examinations becomes a Board Certified Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology. We encourage you to visit the American Board of Ophthalmology website.
What does FRCS(C) mean at the end of my doctor's name?
FRCS(C) stands for "Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada which is a distinction earned nationally for establishing specialist medical expertise in an area of study. Specific to ophthalmology, when your doctor is fellowship certified (has the FRCSC), you can be confident that they passed a set of rigorous examinations in order to practice ophthalmology. We encourage you to visit the Royal College website.