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Visiting Specialist Clinic

The Specialist Clinic at Whitehorse General Hospital is home to a variety of visiting physicians who provide specialized consultative medical and surgical expertise and act as a resource for local physicians. To see a specialist, all patients require a referral from their family doctor.

Learn more about each specialist area below..

Cardiac Stress Testing (or exercise tolerance test) is used to help evaluate the heart and vascular system during exercise. Patients will be watched for signs of irregular heart beat, partially blocked arteries and heart attack risk, which may not be seen while resting. These issues may become evident when the heart has to work harder during exercise. After baseline ECG (electrocardiogram) and vital signs (blood pressure and pulse) are completed, the patient walks on a treadmill that gradually goes faster along with increasing incline.

During exercise, the patient’s ECG, blood pressure, heart rate and condition are continuously monitored by a nurse under the direction of a specialized physician. The test continues until there are ECG changes or the patient is fatigued, has symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath or feels lightheaded.

Family doctors must forward all referrals for stress testing to the Specialist Clinic. A consultation appointment will occur with a cardiologist or internist, during their scheduled clinic, to determine if stress testing is required. If needed, the stress test can be completed on that same day. The specialist will take multiple complex factors into account as they interpret the test results to share with the patient.

How to Prepare
  • No alcohol for 24 hours prior to test.
  • Please refrain from smoking for 3 hours prior to the test.
  • Patients may eat a light meal prior.
  • Do not use lotions or body powders on the day of testing as they can interfere with application of the ECG (electrocardiogram) leads.
  • Wear/bring comfortable clothing and running or walking shoes

Cardiologists are internal medicine physicians who have further specialized training in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases related to the heart and blood vessels.

In the referral to the cardiologist, the family doctor provides an extensive history of the patient's condition. During consultation with the patient, the cardiologist reviews this history with the patient, performs a complete physical examination and often orders further testing.

Testing may include blood tests, CT (computed tomography) scans, X-rays, Holter monitors, echocardiograms, pacemaker assessment and cardiac stress testing.

Available Cardiology Services 
  • General cardiology focuses on the management and prevention of chronic heart conditions.
  • Pacemaker assessment
  • Paediatric cardiology focuses on children who may have been born with heart disease or defects

Visiting Cardiologists

WGH has three visiting cardiologists.

  • Visits per year: 6
  • Days each visit: 3-4

WGH has two visiting paediatric cardiologists.

  • Visits per year: 2
  • Days each visit: 2-3

The skin is considered the largest organ and serves the important role of both protecting and supporting the body. Dermatologists not only specialize in the study of skin, hair and nails, but also have the expertise to know how disorders in these areas may correlate with issues in other organs of the body.

People are commonly referred to the dermatologist for significant problems with their skin. The dermatologist will review the history of the condition, inspect the affected area, possibly conduct a biopsy, diagnose and recommend treatment.

Visiting Dermatologists

WGH has two visiting dermatologists.

  • Visits per year: 4
  • Days each visit: 4-5

Gastroenterologists are internal medicine specialists, who are have extra training and expertise in the diagnosis, management and treatment of digestive disorders.

Patients who have persistent symptoms such as frequent heartburn, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or stomach pain may be referred to a gastroenterologist. These symptoms may indicate more serious disorders of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gall bladder, bile ducts or liver.

The gastroenterologist may order blood tests, collection of samples, or X-ray procedures to confirm the diagnosis. Occasionally, some patients are booked in the operating room, so the doctor can view the area of concern through a scope.

Visiting Gastroenterologists

WGH has one visiting gastroenterologist.

  • Visits per year: 2
  • Days each visit: 2

Internists are physicians who have extensive training and skills in preventing and managing complex disorders of the body and diseases of internal organs. They diagnose, treat, offer preventative care and follow patients with a wide range of non-surgical illnesses. Our specialist clinic Internists may order cardiac stress testing, lab tests, pulmonary function testing, X-ray, ultrasound and CT (computed tomography) investigations for patients.

Visiting Internist

WGH has one visiting internal medicine specialist, who is often accompanied by residents (doctors pursuing further in-depth training within a specialty branch of medicine).

  • Visits per year: 12
  • Days each visit: 3-5

Nephrologists are internal medicine specialists who have specific expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the kidney and urinary system. Patients are referred to this specialist for kidney conditions such as inflammation, cancer or chronic kidney disease.

Visiting Nephrologists

WGH has one visiting nephrologist.

  • Visits per year: 4
  • Days each visit: 4

Neurologists are physicians who have additional education and training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

Patients are referred to the neurologist for conditions such as strokes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). They may also be asked to assess people with headaches, sleep disorders, brain or spine injuries and conditions of the peripheral nervous system.

A neurologist will examine nerves in the head and neck, check muscle strength and observe balance and walking. An assessment may also include checking your reflexes, sensations, memory, speech and other cognitive functions. There are several diagnostic tests available to neurologists in the Yukon, including EMG/NCV (electromyography/nerve conduction velocity), CT (computed tomography), MRI and lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

A visiting neurologist will perform an examination or assessment and send his/her recommendations to your family doctor about any treatment and follow-up. Botox treatments are provided by the neurologist in the specialist clinic for a limited number of conditions.

Visiting Neurologists

WGH has two visiting neurologists.

  • Visits per year: 10
  • Days each visit: 2-4

An Ophthalmologist is a physician who concentrates on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the eye. These specialists offer both medical and surgical expertise in correcting eye conditions. Your family physician will usually refer you to one of our local optometrists first for an eye examination. This will provide the ophthalmologist with the information to plan the appropriate care.

Referrals commonly come into the ophthalmologist for: cataracts and cataract surgery, diabetic eye conditions, glaucoma, eye injuries and correction of lazy eyes. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an imaging technique used at the Specialists Clinic to aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the retina and macular degeneration.

Visiting Opthalmologist

The visiting ophthalmologists divide their time between the Operating Room and the Specialists Clinic.

WGH has two visiting ophthalmologists, one paediatric opthamologist and several local optometrists.

General opthalmology:

  • Visits per year: 10
  • Days each visit: 4-5

Paediatric opthalmology:

  • Visits per year: 2
  • Days each visit: 4-5

Yukon Hospitals provides comprehensive orthopaedic services, including non-invasive care, elective (planned) surgery, and emergency surgery supported by resident orthopedic surgeons. The orthopaedic program aims to improve access to care, minimize travel out of the Yukon, and decrease wait times for consult and development/initiation of treatment plans for patients. 

Surgeons diagnose and provide treatment options based on their assessment of the affected area with the support of X-rays, CT (computed tomography) scans or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.

Orthopaedic Surgeons

WGH has one visiting orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hands and wrists..

Patients will be put on a wait list to see the orthopaedic surgeon. The visiting specialist’s time is divided up between the Visiting Specialist Clinic, the operating room and minor procedures room.

Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management of disorders that include the ears, nose and nasal passages, sinuses, larynx (voice box), mouth and throat as well as structures of the neck and face. Theses physicians specialize in the diagnosis and management of these conditions in adults and children.

People are commonly referred to an otolaryngologist for conditions such as chronic ear infections, ear noise, hearing loss and dizziness. Nasal assessments can be recommended when patients have allergies, sinusitis, nose bleeds, snoring, abnormal nasal breathing and deformities of the face. Otolaryngologists also assess, diagnose and treat swallowing disorders and hoarseness.

Visiting otolaryngology specialist divide their time between the operating room and the specialist clinic.

Visiting Otolaryngologists

WGH has two visiting otolaryngologists (ENT).

  • Visits per year: 10
  • Days each visit: 5

Physiatrists are medical doctors who have broad training in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Through a holistic lens, the physiatrist assesses and manages each patient within their own life context. Using a team-oriented approach, they assist patients with chronic neuro-muscular orthopedic and neurological conditions and focus on improved function and every-day quality of life.

Visiting Physiatrists

WGH has four visiting physiatrists.

  • Visits per year: 4
  • Days per visit: 4-5

Rheumatologists are internal medicine specialists who have expertise in the treatment of diseases of the joints, muscles and connective tissues.

A rheumatologist focuses on cause, development, diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as inflammatory arthritis and certain other autoimmune diseases along with connective tissue and musculoskeletal pain disorders.

During your consultation, the rheumatologist will review information provided by your family doctor, take an in-depth history and perform a physical assessment of the affected area. The information gained during consultation might be supported by lab tests or X-rays. This leads to diagnosis with a recommendation and treatment options given to your family doctor.

Inflammatory arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body gets confused and begins to attack the synovial lining of the joints. It is a chronic disease, which, if left untreated, causes pain, swelling, disability and deformity.

Early diagnosis and treatment of this condition by a rheumatologist can slow the progression of the disease. It is for this reason that the rheumatologist who visits the specialists clinic focuses more on inflammatory arthritis as compared to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the result from wear and tear on the joint cartilage over time. Your family doctor can recommend supportive treatments to help control the pain, swelling, and disability that occur over time with this form of arthritis.

Visiting Rheumatologists

WGH has one visiting rheumatologist. A dedicated Registered Nurse in the specialists clinic works in collaboration with the family doctor and rheumatologist to provide year-round care for patients.

  • Visits per year: 8
  • Days each visit: 5


Appointments & How to Prepare

Based on the information provided by your family doctor, most visiting physician specialists will prioritize referrals. This process makes it difficult to provide an exact wait-list time. All urgent patients are seen first.

Patients are notified by mail 4-6 weeks before an appointment with all relevant information needed for the visit, including what to bring to the appointment and any scans or lab tests that will be need to done in advance. All patients must confirm, by phone, at least a week prior to the appointment or the time may be reassigned to another patient on the wait list.

Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time.

What to Bring
  • Yukon Health Care Card and government-issued identification like a driver’s license or permanent resident card
  • A list of all medications (pills or other drugs) you take including prescriptions, vitamins, pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil, health supplements, and herbal remedies. If you do not have time to make a list, please bring the bottles.
  • For some visits, you may need to bring some personal items identified in your appointment confirmation letter. This could include:
    • Any form that accompanied the appointment letter
    • Comfortable clothing and walking/running shoes
    • Shorts
    • Sunglasses and someone to drive you home
    • Prescription eyeglasses

Surgical Specialists & Bookings

All patients with a potential surgical condition must be referred by the family doctor. The visiting physician surgeon will determine if surgery is required, assess priority, and add the patient to the wait list.

Approximately one month before surgical date, the patient will receive a letter and information package about the procedure. It is essential for patients confirm the appointment at the Specialists Clinic by quoting the booking number from the Surgical Booking Patient Information form. If this is not completed one week before the scheduled date, your surgical time will be offered to another patient on the list.

Anaesthetists and Pre-Op Clinic Appointments

Patients will need to follow the instructions provided on their Surgical Booking Patient Information form for any Anaesthetist and Pre-Operative Clinic appointments. At the pre-op clinic, located near the main doors at Whitehorse General Hospital, patients will get further information about their surgery. Attendance at this appointment is required or the surgery will be canceled.

Other Information

Preparing for Surgery
Inpatient Units
Your Stay
What to Bring to WGH