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Frequently Asked Questions

A medical laboratory is a convenient way to obtain important information about your health through body fluid and tissue tests. If you have never used the Salinas Valley Medical Clinic (SVMC) lab before you likely have a few questions. We have provided answers to questions frequently asked by patients below. Feel free to contact us if you would like to have your questions answered directly.

Are Appointments Necessary?

No, you can visit the lab and request your tests without making an appointment. Please bring a medical insurance card and a filled out test requisition form from your primary healthcare provider. Be aware that your wait time will depend on how busy the lab is. You can reduce your wait time by visiting during the slow periods, typically any time after 10 a.m.

How Can I Prepare for Lab Testing?

Fasting is 10-12 hours (not 8), not all labs require fasting, water is OK. The nutrients and chemicals from food enter your bloodstream and could impact your test results. For the most accurate bloodwork, doctors almost always recommend fasting before visiting the lab. Not all labs require fasting, speak with your doctor if you are unsure if you should fast before your test.

When Do I Receive My Results?

The SVMC laboratory typically has results within 24 to 48 hours. Some tests will require more time. If our lab is incapable of evaluating the sample, we will forward it to a facility that specializes in the testing required. Results from partner labs are usually returned in 5 days.

Results of your test are sent to your doctor. To view them yourself you will need to contact your primary care physician and ask for a copy.

Why Do You Send Results to My Doctor and Not Me?

Though you may be the one requesting the lab test, these services are only performed with a doctor’s compliance. This is to avoid spending time and resources on unnecessary testing, which can end up costing you thousands of dollars. Additionally, medical lab tests are written specifically for people with medical training. If you do not have a medical education you will likely need a doctor’s assistance interpreting the results.

Why Do I Need a Lab Test?

If your doctor has recommended a lab test, it means that they need more information to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. It is sometimes impossible to diagnose infections, diabetes, cancer and other diseases without laboratory testing. We recommend scheduling an appointment for lab testing the same day your doctor recommends one.