Specialist in Family Medicine
Susan Gouge, D.O. grew up in West Virginia where family doctors were primarily Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.). This influence led her to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) herself. After attending undergrad away from home, she decided to go back and attend West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. After Receiving her D.O., she pursued residency in family medicine at the University of Tennessee-Health Science Center College of Medicine. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine learn a more holistic approach to patients in addition to their medical curriculum. Today, more of the medical field is trying to have a holistic approach to patients.
Dr. Gouge believes family physicians are key in an individual’s life since it allows them to have a physician who can consider all aspects of their health. Family physicians can see trends in an individual’s health since they make sure to understand a patient’s history of health including their family history. With this Dr. Gouge can treat the large picture and better guide her patients who would only recieve acute treatment at a walk-in or minute clinic.
Dr. Gouge has been practicing as a D.O. for over 7 years and has been with Galen for over a year. She loves educating and guiding patients to healthier lifestyles to improve chronic diseases and reduce risk of developing chronic conditions. She also loves providing care to the entire family over several generations. Her ideal day off work involves spending time with her daughters at home, going out on her small farm to see her animals, and relaxing with a cup of coffee. She loves the small community Collegedal/Ooltewah offers as well as the quick access to lakes, hiking, and gorgeous views.
9309 Apison Pike
Ooltewah, TN 37363
My approach to care is to truly hear my patients’ concerns and meet them where they are emotionally as well as physcially. I want to educate and give good information for them to be able to make wise decisions for their health.
D.O. | West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency | Family Medicine, University of Tennessee School of Medicine
B.S. | Tennessee Temple University, Biology
Member, American Academy of Family Physicians
American Board of Family Medicine
Our primary care physicians specialize in internal medicine for adults. They are equipped to diagnose and treat a broad and comprehensive spectrum of acute and chronic illnesses. Our providers emphasize disease prevention, and work with the patient to develop a healthy lifestyle, manage their individual health, and provide needed advice throughout the many stages of adulthood.
Our goal is to improve the health of those we serve with a commitment to excellence through mutual goal setting and evidence-based treatment in a caring, comfortable, convenient, and cost-effective setting.
Preventive medicine is practiced by all physicians to keep their patients healthy. It is also a unique medical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Preventive medicine focuses on the health of individuals, communities, and defined populations. Its goal is to protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability, and death.
Preventive medicine specialists are licensed medical doctors (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO), who possess core competencies in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational medicine, planning and evaluation of health services, management of health care organizations, research into causes of disease and injury in population groups, and the practice of prevention in clinical medicine. They apply knowledge and skills gained from the medical, social, economic, and behavioral sciences.
What is a wellness exam?
An annual wellness exam is a comprehensive preventive exam with your primary care physician for the sole purpose of preventive care. An annual exam does not include discussion of new problems or detailed review of chronic conditions. An annual exam may also be called a routine check-up, yearly exam, annual pap, or preventive visit.
Will my insurance pay for a wellness exam?
Most health plans will pay for one wellness or preventive exam per year. Your insurance provider may consider this to be (1) once per calendar year or (2) or once every 366 days from the date of your last wellness exam.
If you have had any other visit billed as preventive during this time period your plan is likely to deny your wellness exam. This would include a well-woman exam or annual pap smear. Your plan may not pay for all testing and/or labs ordered during your wellness exam. If your provider has a concern and orders diagnostic testing and/or labs during your exam you may be financially responsible.
It is the patient’s responsibility to check with their insurance provider to see what is covered under their wellness benefit, and to ensure they are eligible prior to scheduling their annual wellness exam.
What is the difference between a wellness exam and a problem visit?
Preventive visits and tests ordered by your provider can help you stay healthy and catch problems early. Diagnostic visits and testing are used to diagnose a current health problem. Diagnostic tests are ordered by your provider when you have symptoms and they want to find out why. For example, your provider might want you to have a test because of your age or family history, that’s preventive care, but if it’s because you’re having symptoms or a problem, that is diagnostic care.
Can I have a wellness exam and problem visit at the same time?
The answer is Yes, but not preferred. It is possible to address a problem at a wellness exam, however, it is not the preferred method. A wellness exam is a comprehensive review of systems, medications, past and current medical history, health risk assessment, and preventive testing for potential risks. Wellness exams typically do not require a copay, and, many times, may be covered at 100% (this, of course, is dependent on your insurance plan). When you combine a problem visit with the wellness exam you are billed for both a wellness visit, and a problem visit; which may then require a copay, or have the charges applied to your deductible. For this reason, we ask that you please schedule a separate appointment, on a different day, if you have any new concerns or ongoing health problems that need more attention.