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Patient Visit Frequently Asked Questions


Save time in the office by completing your health history information on our patient portal at

  • The default username is your email address
  • If you have difficulty accessing your online portal, email for assistance.
  • All office notes are uploaded to the patient portal upon completion.
  • You may contact us by sending messages through the patient portal.
  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

What information do I need to bring for my first appointment?
  • Insurance card
  • Photo ID
  • Referral letter (if required)
  • Copies of relevant medical records (Surgical reports, MRI/Xray/CT reports, and copies of the imaging on a disc)
  • List of your current medications with dosage and frequency
What should I expect at my first appointment?

Our clinical staff will begin your appointment by taking a thorough history and learning about the reason for your visit. We have an X-ray machine in our office and will take images if they are necessary for confirming your diagnosis. Your provider will perform a physical examination, review imaging with you, and thoroughly explain your diagnosis and treatment plan.

How long will the appointment take?

At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists we do our absolute best to be respectful of our patients’ time. You can expect your first appointment to take approximately 45 minutes. It is helpful if you complete or update the patient portal information before your appointment. This will save you time during the check-in process.

Do I need a MRI?

An MRI is a helpful tool for diagnosing complex orthopedic conditions. Your provider may order an MRI if it is necessary to further investigate your diagnosis to determine if surgery is an appropriate next step. We will provide you with a list of our preferred imaging facilities if an MRI is ordered.

If surgery is necessary, how long does it take to schedule?

You and your provider will determine an appropriate timeline for scheduling your surgery. If you wish to have it completed as soon as possible, we can normally accommodate your request within 1 month. It may be sooner depending on physician availability.

Where will the surgery take place?

Our providers perform surgery at a few local facilities.

Dr. James GardinerShady Grove Adventist Medical Center
Surgery Center of Chevy Chase
Dr. Christopher RaffoShady Grove Adventist Medical Center
Surgery Center of Chevy Chase
Dr. Peter FitzgibbonsJohn Hopkins Suburban Hospital
Massachussetts Avenue Surgery Center
Dr. Gary FeldmanShady Grove Adventist Medical Center
Surgery Center of Chevy Chase
Dr. John ChristoforettiShady Grove Adventist Medical Center
Surgery Center of Chevy Chase
What is a Physician Assistant?

Jessica O’Keefe and Laura Baker are board certified physician assistants who work as an extension of our physicians to provide excellent healthcare. Jessica and Laura are licensed clinicians who diagnose and treat patients in the clinic, as well as assist in the operating room.

Who do your providers treat?

Our orthopedic staff has the expertise to treat patients of all ages (from 0-100+). Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, or doing your best to age gracefully, we can help with your orthopedic needs.

What if I don’t speak English?

We provide a virtual translation service (video and audio) to make sure our non-english speaking patients are fully understood, their care plan was explained to them clearly, and their questions are answered appropriately.

Is Telehealth an option?

Our providers utilize virtual appointments on a very limited basis. There are certain situations where it may be necessary but orthopedic conditions are best evaluated in person in order to provide the most accurate diagnosis and care plan. Our Physician Assistance use an online Telehealth platform routinely for our pre-operative appointments for patients preparing to have surgery.

What if I need a brace or a cast?

Both of our offices are fully stocked with the most common durable medical equipment our patients often need. Our clinical staff is trained in fitting and dispensing this equipment. They will make sure your brace fits appropriately and you are comfortable removing and applying it. Most of the durable medical equipment our office uses, can be billed through your insurance. We also can apply and remove casts in our office.

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