Ratings for Dr. J. Gavin Helton
Been going to Dr. H for nearly 10 years now. He is great. His office staff is terrible and has been for years. Takes forever to make appts, calls, etc. Not his fault, but it is getting worse, not better. Shame on Mercy for that, not the docs. He listens, takes a conservative approach, which I prefer, has never led me wrong yet - but the red tape and the office staff are driving me away. I will miss Dr. H, but not the Mercy/St. John's system.
Dr. Helton is great - if you can get to him. I tell people I have a doctor that I'm not sure really exists anymore - I am rarely allowed to see him. He's too busy for last minute sick appointments, but then too busy for annual checkups. Not sure how sick you have to be to see him. I do like the Saturday walk-in service and the online features, like emailing them with questions. Might as well have an assistant email answers to questions as see one instead of your doctor! It's like the Seinfeld bit about car reservations - they HAVE a doctor, you just can't SEE your doctor!
I went in with back pain and was taken care of at first but when my back got worse he and his staff became very hostile towards me and said all I was after were pills. I told them all where they could go and stick and since then I have had an MRI and found three deteriorateing disks in my lower back and two bulging disks! Yeah greay doctor!
I have been going to Dr. Helton since he started practicing medicine and have known him since his residency. He is VERY compassionate, knowledgable, and attentive to your needs. When looking for a new Dr. find out who the nurses and doctors recommend and who they would send their loved ones to! You can now e-mail questions and schedule appointments online yourself so there is no need to go thru the office staff. What a wonderful improvement!!!
The front desk woman was rude and disrespectful. She said I was 15 minutes late but would check with doc to see if he'd see me. There was no-one else in office!! Doctor led me to his office and shoved bill in my face stating I would not be treated until bill was paid. He shouted at me to say I'd cost them money by missing appt. (honest mistake, husband in Afghanistan, etc.-I'd even called and rescheduled and apologized). and I honestly forgot to pay the $25. I literally sent off the check the morning of appt. to make sure I didn't forget to bring it. They treated me as a liar. When I shouted back that I'd already sorted it out with billing, he didn't believe me. When I asked Sherry in billing later she remembered our conversation day before. All this over a $25 missed appt. fee I was completely humiliated and asked for my $12.oo co-pay back. I was so upset I was shaking when I left. I will never step foot into that horrid oppressive place again.
Dr. Helton is wonderful, he is incredibly knowledgable, and I never feel rushed. When I am there it is as if I am the only patient he has. He values my feedback, and partners it with his expertise. The staff used to be horrible, but they have improved from a 1 to a 3. I'm optimistic they can eventually get to a 5 as well!
First visit spent 80 minutes with me, felt very cared for. Since has gone downhill, due to the quality of the front office person. She is a witch and very rude. Went in office in extreme pain. Thought wrist broken. Asked me if I was a patient. Said they had no x-ray machine, would have to send me to the urgent care anyway (no x-ray taken there, tendonitis). I left, so rude. Refuse to take unnecessary medication. Controlled my diabetes with natural supplement and diet. Dr said cholesterol high and immediately recommended a statin. I refused, am trying diet control first to see if it helps. Won't take statin, dangerous. Sent me to a heart specialist I don't like and she tried to get me on a statin. Cholesterol is 40/140 and 218, was 225 back in '94! Carotid artery test = minimal plaque. Being an osteopathist thought he would be more into wellness. Sick of rude staff. After fasting same rude person refused A1C test w/o appt.(had appt.). Dr. angry with staff for not doing.
Dr. Helton is exceptional. Caring and listens?observes very well. We have been seeing him for many years now and he is truly great. His keen eye and listening skills have been critical in catching problems that both my wife and I have experienced before they became major health issues. He is really wonderful.
Dr. J. Gavin Helton is an AWESOME doctor, and his Nurse Practitioner, Mary-Ellen Bowman, is equally as awesome. His bedside manner is excellent AND he knows his stuff, everything you want in a doctor. The only cons are that his staff members are rude, incompetent, and do not update records very well, and the referrals that Dr. Helton gives for specialists aren't very good. However if you have a specialist in mind, he will likely send you to them unless he has a good reason not to; so it's best to feed him names of specialists you prefer rather than go off of his judgment. Dr. Helton is awesome, wouldn't go to any other primary care doctor! :)
Dr. J. Gavin Helton's Credentials
Accepting New Patients
- University Of Alabama School Of Medicine (Grad. 1995)
Areas of Expertise
Awards & Recognitions
Publications & Research