Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled answers to the frequently asked questions you might have about our clinic.
This page will be regularly updated to incorporate your feedback and provide accurate information.

General

Where is the clinic located?

You can find us on the 3rd floor of the Central Block in the University District. Simply take the elevator to the 3rd floor and turn left.

Our address is: Suite 320, 4015 University Avenue NW, Calgary Alberta

Where can I park?

Free underground parking is available for up to 3 hours at the University District Retail Parkade. Please remember to register your license plate at one of the pay machines located at each entrance to activate your free parking and avoid possible ticketing.

Where are the washrooms located?

Public washrooms are conveniently located in the shared hallway on the third floor. To access them, proceed straight from the clinic entrance.

To receive the door code, kindly scan the QR code in the waiting room or ask our reception staff.

Appointments

What is a walk-in appointment?

It is an appointment intended to offer medical care to individuals who either do not have a family doctor or are unable to reach their existing one.

Is it possible to get a same-day walk-in appointment at all times?

No, availability may vary. Our reception staff will assist you in scheduling the earliest available appointment or guide you through other options to access the necessary care you need.

What is a Meet & Greet appointment?

This initial appointment is designed to introduce you to your new doctor and facilitate the collection of your medical history and establish the duty of care.

Will there be a cost associated with transferring my medical records to Aspire Medical?

Your previous family doctor’s office may apply a charge to account for the time and effort required to prepare and transfer your medical records. The specific amount of this fee is determined by your former family doctor’s office.

How can I schedule an appointment online?

Firstly, you NEED to be enrolled on AVA Connect, which can be found in the following question below.

To schedule an appointment online, navigate to AVA Connect by clicking “Book Appointment” on our homepage or visiting avaconnect.ca

Sign in with your email and password, then follow these steps:

  • Click on “Appointments.”
  • Choose Aspire Medical.
  • Select a practitioner.
  • Choose the appointment type.
  • Pick the date and time.
  • Provide the reason for the appointment.
  • Click “Submit.”
How can I enroll in AVA Connect for Aspire Medical?

To register for AVA Connect at Aspire Medical, contact our reception for the invitation link to be sent to your email.

Is the AVA Connect sign-up link time-limited?

YES: the sign-up link expires after 5 days for security reasons. Prompt sign-up is recommended. Contact our reception if the link expires.

Can walk-in patients at Aspire Medical sign up for AVA Connect?

Yes, if you’re a walk-in patient without a family doctor at Aspire Medical, you can still register for AVA Connect. This allows you to schedule future appointments online.

What are the benefits of registering for AVA Connect?

We recommend AVA Connect for several reasons:

  • Efficient Appointment Scheduling: AVA Connect offers the convenience of scheduling appointments online, reducing phone wait times.
  • Secure Communication: AVA Connect allows your doctor to securely send you messages, requisitions, and educational resources.
  • Personal Information Management: AVA Connect enables you to update your contact information and medical history.
  • Health Monitoring: You can share your home blood pressure and blood sugar readings with your doctor through AVA Connect.
  • Test Results: Upon request, your doctor can send you a copy of your test results through the AVA platform.
Is there a fee for AVA Connect sign-up?

No. AVA Connect sign-up is free of charge.

Uninsured Medical Services

Does Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) cover all medical services?

No, Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) ONLY provides eligible Alberta residents with full coverage for medically necessary physician services and medically required diagnostic tests.

What health services are not covered under Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)?

Medical services that we offer at our clinic and are not covered by the AHCIP include:

  • Driver’s medical exam
  • Health services requested by a third party, such as medicals for employment, insurance or sport
  • Medical forms and notes
  • Travel advice and vaccinations for travel purposes (future service)
  • Transfer of medical records

For more information: https://www.alberta.ca/ahcip-what-is-covered.aspx#jumplinks-3

Test Results

How can I obtain the results of my throat swab test for strep throat?

To receive your results, please contact Dynamite Medical Lab at 403-770-3600 and follow the prompts to reach the appropriate department (press 2 when prompted). Be sure to have your healthcare card ready when you make the call.

How can I view my health records, including lab test results and diagnostic imaging reports?

Access your health records, such as lab test results and diagnostic imaging reports, by logging into MyHealth Records using your current Alberta.ca Account username and password. If you don’t have an Alberta.ca Account, you can create a new account to gain access to MyHealth Records.

In Age We Understand (Care of the Elderly)

Is a referral necessary to schedule an appointment at “Aspire Medical In Age We Understand” clinic?

Yes, a referral from your family doctor or a walk-in doctor is required.

When will “Aspire Medical In Age We Understand” clinic start accepting referrals?

Referrals will open in 2024. Stay tuned for updates.

Weight No More (Weight Management Support)

Is a referral necessary to schedule an appointment at the “Aspire Medical Weight No More” clinic?

Yes, a referral from your family doctor or a walk-in doctor is required.

I don’t currently have a family doctor. How can I obtain a referral to the Aspire Medical Weight No More clinic?

Our receptionist will be pleased to schedule a telephone appointment with one of our walk-in doctors. This will enable us to gather the essential information and complete the referral process for you.

When will “Aspire Medical Weight No More” clinic start accepting referrals?

Referrals will open in early 2024. Stay tuned for updates.

What does the Enhanced Weight Wellness program entail?

The Enhanced Weight Wellness program introduces valuable assessments and additional features, including:

  1. Body Composition Measurement: This advanced analysis delves beyond the standard BMI and weight measurement, providing insights into fat, bone, water, and muscle composition within the body.
  2. Metabolic Testing using Indirect Calorimeter: To gain a precise understanding of your resting calorie expenditure, allowing for tailored strategies to create a calorie deficit. This goes beyond generic estimates, such as the Mifflin-St Jeor equation.
  3. Guided Shopping Tour: You will join a group tour led by our dietitian to discover informed and health-conscious shopping selections.
  4. Milestone Tokens: To acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along your journey.

These enhancements reinforce our commitment to offering a comprehensive and personalized approach to obesity care.

What is the reason for the associated fee of the Enhanced Weight Wellness program?

While the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) does provide coverage for medical physician services and consultations, it does not cover the expenses associated with device assessments or single-use items, such as disposable mouthpiece filters.

Do I have to enroll in the Enhanced Weight Wellness program?

No, you don’t have to enroll in the Enhanced Weight Wellness Program. It’s important to note that while opting out of the program won’t impact the standard of care you receive, certain assessments such as body composition analysis and metabolic testing won’t be available. In such cases, we will use approximate estimates like BMI and the Mifflin-St Jeor equation.

What is the cost of the Enhanced Weight Wellness Program?

The program costs $365 for a duration of 1 year, commencing from the date of the initial consultation. This fee encompasses the following services:

  • In-person follow-up sessions every 2 months, featuring body composition and metabolic measurements.
  • The initial comprehensive consultation encompassing body composition and metabolic measurements.
  • One group tour led by our dietitian.
  • Regular telephone follow-ups to monitor progress.
Is the fee for the Enhanced Weight Wellness Program refundable?

No, the fee is non-refundable once the initial assessment, which includes metabolic testing and body composition measurement, has been completed.

I did not attend all my follow-up sessions that included body composition and metabolic measurements. Can I carry these forward?

Unfortunately, the program cost covers these services within the duration of the 1-year period, starting from the date of the initial consultation. They cannot be carried forward beyond this time frame.

How do I prepare for my initial consultation?


To ensure you’re well-prepared for your initial consultation, here’s what you should do:

  1. Complete Intake Form: Fill out the intake form accurately. This will provide your healthcare provider with essential background information.
  2. Complete Visual Analogue Scale (VAS): Follow the provided instructions and complete the Visual Analogue Scale.
  3. For Metabolic Measurement Assessments:
    • Fasting: Refrain from eating, drinking, taking supplements, or exercising for at least 4 hours prior to the measurement.
    • No Smoking: Avoid smoking for at least 1 hour before the measurement.
    • Arrive Early: Be at the appointment location 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. This allows for a 10-minute rest period before the metabolic measurement begins.
    • Repeat metabolic measurements: They should be conducted at the same time of day and under similar conditions for accurate results.
What is Metabolism and Resting Metabolic Rate?

Metabolism is the body’s process of combining nutrients with oxygen to generate the energy essential for its functioning. This energy is quantified in calories.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the total quantity of calories an individual burns daily while at rest, without significant physical activity.

How does weight loss impact my Metabolism?

Weight loss lowers your Metabolism. It is a normal response because Metabolism is closely tied to your overall body mass. When you lose weight, your total body mass decreases, resulting in a reduced need for energy to sustain essential bodily functions.

Engaging in strength training exercises might help sustain a higher Metabolism.

Do you recommend hCG diet?

No, we strongly discourage the use of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) for weight loss. Well-designed trials have shown that hCG offers no advantage over a placebo. This hormone does not contribute to weight loss, redistribution of fat, or diminished hunger. The perceived efficacy of hCG stems primarily from the highly restrictive 500-calorie diet that accompanies its use, rather than the hormone itself.

Moreover, extremely low-calorie diets pose substantial risks, including gallstone formation, irregular heartbeats, fatigue, deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals, and electrolyte imbalances. It’s also important to note that very low-calorie diets have not demonstrated superiority over conventional diets in achieving sustainable long-term weight loss.

Do you recommend liposuction?

No, we do not endorse liposuction as a sustainable method for achieving long-term weight loss. Liposuction removes the fat located beneath the skin, and does not target the visceral fat (the concealed fat stored deep within the abdominal region). This does not improve insulin sensitivity or coronary heart disease risk factors.

Do you recommend over-the-counter weight-loss dietary supplements?

No, we do not recommend the use of over-the-counter weight-loss dietary supplements due to several concerns:

  1. Lack of Evidence: There is insufficient scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these supplements for weight loss. Substances like green tea, Garcinia cambogia, conjugated linoleic acid, and chitosan have been found to be ineffective for weight loss.
  2. Safety Concerns: Many of these supplements raise safety concerns, as they may contain undisclosed ingredients. Brazilian diet pills and Herbathin dietary supplements have been found to contain prescription drugs like tranquillizers, antidepressants, and stimulants.
  3. Garcinia Cambogia: This supplement has been associated with cases of hepatic (liver) failure.
  4. Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium): Weight-loss products containing bitter orange have been linked to increases in heart rate and blood pressure.
  5. Guar Gum: Clinical trials have demonstrated that guar gum is ineffective for weight loss and can lead to adverse effects such as abdominal pain, flatulence, and diarrhea.
  6. Chromium picolinate: It has limited evidence supporting its effectiveness and lacks sufficient safety data.
How do I maintain my weight loss?

Regaining lost weight is a prevalent challenge in the management of obesity. The body seems to have a natural “set point” for its fat mass, and following weight loss, it deploys counter hormones to reinstate the previously higher body weight.

The extended use of anti-obesity medications may mitigate and manage these underlying physiological adjustments.

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has followed over 5000 individuals who have successfully lost substantial amounts of weight and maintained it over extended periods. The findings highlight several key strategies employed by these individuals:

  1. Daily Breakfast: 80% of participants made it a habit to consume breakfast daily.
  2. Caloric and Fat Intake Tracking: Participants monitored their energy and fat intake carefully, with diets typically comprising around 25% of energy from fat.
  3. Daily Exercise (1 hour): 90% of participants engaged in exercise, dedicating about 1 hour or more per day to physical activity.
  4. Reduced Sedentary Behavior: 62% of participants spent less than 10 hours per week on activities like watching television.
  5. Regular Weight Monitoring: 75% of participants regularly weighed themselves, doing so at least once a week.

These strategies shed light on the practices that contribute to sustained weight loss.