Faculty clinic opens up services to community

Photo credit: Melhor Leonor

By: Lauren Rovira/Staff Writer

Upon arrival for the 2011-2012 academic year, students may have noticed a change at PG5.

Nestled between the FIU Police Department and the eateries is the FIU Health Faculty Group Practice, which is now open to the community Monday through Friday.

As a part of the Healthcare Network at the University, the practice provides medical attention to the University community.

The practice began only seeing faculty and staff, but has since expanded its services to dependents of the University, employees and members of the community 18 and over.

It differs from University Health Services in that it is primarily geared at the employees of the University, although students with private health insurance coverage can access the services of the practice as well.

“This is an option for service,” said Amy Metula, director of quality management of the FIU College of Medicine HealthCare Network.

The shift away from exclusively attending to the needs of faculty and staff emerged as a by-product of requests made by these individuals that their dependents be allowed to use the facility as well.

At the center, the patient is greeted with a contemporary interior design.

Frosted glass panes separate the arriving and departing patients offering them privacy as they come to seek out the services of the facility.

Past the lobby, ten separate exam rooms await patients. The practice is also equipped with a laboratory and an X-Ray machine in the radiology room.

On staff are eight physicians that take care of radiology, gynecology and obstetrics, rheumatology and general family medicine.

The practice plans  on adding medical specialties throughout the spring term, one of which is cardiology.

More imaging modalities, including ultrasound, are also in the near future.

“The patients are happy,” she said, “the practice has really picked up since we opened full time in August.”

Patients receive routine physicals, well-care visits, and preventive health maintenance.

The facility also screens for chronic diseases and helps patients manage them.

Should an individual come upon an acute illness, such as rashes, fevers and nausea, they may also seek out the services of the practice.

The practice provides vaccines, electrocardiograms, nursing consultations and educational programs that assist patients in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Established patients are also offered 24/7 access to on-call physicians should anything come up.

They will also be seen at the facility on a walk-in basis.

New patients or returning non-established patients must make appointments to be seen by the physicians on staff.

The practice is open Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until 5 p.m.