FAQ on Depression and Health | Lakeland Primary Care |


Why do I need a Primary Care Physician?
Establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor creates a medical “home” for the patient. Having one doctor who is familiar with your medical history and understands your particular problems can lead to better coordinated, more effective medical care and fewer errors and less duplication of costly tests. A primary care doctor can also serve as a resource when cooperation or consultation with a specialist is required.

I feel fine, so why do I need to have a yearly physical?
Most people consider regularly scheduled maintenance of a car as an essential part of protecting their investment. A regular physical exam is no less an essential component of an overall plan of wellness. A physical exam is an opportunity to discuss new problems or concerns with your doctor, and to screen for new conditions that may have developed over time. This is especially true for people with risk factors for common diseases, such as obesity, smoking, and family history of diseases. The best time to discover diseases such as diabetes, hig cholesterol, high blood pressure and cancer is early, while they are more easily treatable and while you may still feel fine. Many insurance companies have begun offering yearly routine benefits.

Why does my doctor need to see me regularly?
Diseases, like individuals, change over time. Often blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions worsen with time and become more difficult to control. Seeing your doctor regularly can help keep you on track by catching any changes in your condition early, when it does the most good. Also, prescription medications require periodic monitoring to ensure they are effective and are being tolerated well. Remember, prescription medications can often affect many areas of your body requiring regular lab work for monitoring. Regular visits also are an opportunity for the patient to discuss questions or symptoms with the doctor that may be clues to developing problems.

What if I have an emergency or have to go to the hospital?
Having a doctor who is familiar with your medical history is especially important when hospitalization is required. Dr. LaGarde is on staff at both River Oaks Hospital and St. Dominic’s Hospital. He will follow your care from the time of admission to discharge at both facilities.

If you have an emergency after hours or over the weekend, call the clinic and you will be connected to the answering service, which will contact Dr. LaGarde or the covering physician who will return your call.

How are calls managed during office hours?
If you have a life-threatening problem or an emergency, you should not call the clinic; instead, you should call 911 or proceed directly to the Emergency Room. The ER doctor will call Dr. LaGarde directly after appropriate treatment.

For non-urgent calls, please call our clinic directly. If staff is assisting other patients and unable to take your call immediately, please leave a voice message. Voice messages are retrieved continually throughout the day. All messages are reviewed by Dr. LaGarde and his nurse. Routine calls are returned after morning patients are seen and after afternoon clinic.

Please be aware that diagnosis over the phone is often difficult or not appropriate for a particular problem or patient. You may be asked to schedule an appointment with Dr. LaGarde.

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Primary care facility including treatment for dementia and depression in MS.
1040 River Oaks Dr. Ste 301
Flowood, MS 39232