Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Provider photo for Jonathan Volk

Jonathan Volk, MD

Infectious Diseases

Welcome to My Doctor Online, a web site that my colleagues and I developed to make it easier for you to take care of your healthcare needs. On this site you will find answers to many of your questions about my clinical practice. Also included are several online features that will allow you to e-mail me, check your laboratory results and refill prescriptions. I hope you find its content informative and useful.

My Offices

San Francisco Medical Center
Appt/Advice: 415-833-2200

See all office information »

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Office visit

You may be referred to me by your primary care doctor, another specialist, or a doctor in the hospital. I will consult with them about your condition either before, during our time together, or afterwards. We will continue to communicate and consult about your care as needed.

What is an Infectious Disease specialist?

Infectious disease (ID) is a specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of infections. ID specialists often evaluate patients who have health problems with unclear causes and are often called medical detectives because they are using various aspects of a patient’s history, physical exam, and testing to find a diagnosis. Doctors often consult ID specialists if a patient has a fever or other symptoms suggestive of an infection but has not improved after routine testing or treatment. Many times the cause can be due to infections, although not necessarily contagious. Examples of some types of problems seen by an ID physician include infections that occur after surgery; infections that are obscure but serious, such as endocarditis, which involves the heart valves; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease; and tuberculosis. Contagious diseases occur infrequently, and you will not be exposed to these types of diseases by visiting us or being in our waiting room. ID specialists treat contagious diseases and help make sure these diseases don’t spread to other people.

Getting Here

  • My office address, maps, and transportation instructions are included in "Offices and Directions."
  • Please arrive 30 minutes early to allow time for parking and check-in.
  • Please bring your Kaiser Permanente medical card and a photo ID, like your driver's license, with you.

Before Your Visit

Please bring your medications with you or bring a list of the medications you are taking.

  • It’s important for us to know which medicines, and how much of each, you are taking because it influences recommendations for tests or other medicines you might need. 
  • Our electronic medical record tells us what has been prescribed, but only you can confirm what you take every day. This includes prescription medications such as birth control pills, as well as over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, vitamins, and herbs or supplements.
  • If you are a new Kaiser Permanente member and/or you have received care from another provider, please bring copies of those records, including test results, with you.
  • Please let us know if you have any allergies.

Think about the questions and issues you would like to discuss.

  • It is a good idea to write them down and bring them to our visit.

Remember to bring your forms.

  • If we sent you a form or questionnaire, please complete as much as you can and bring it with you to our visit.
  • If you have a form you need us to complete, please bring it with you. Remember to tell us when you need it completed and returned.
  • If you are coming to see us for a vaccination, please bring your vaccination records. People who travel a great deal typically keep these on a yellow card, also known as an International Certificate of Vaccination.

Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes.

  • Please avoid wearing perfumes or colognes when you come to our clinic, as many patients are sensitive to these chemicals.

During Your Visit

Before you see me, you will meet my medical assistant (MA).

  • My MA will call you in from the waiting room, bring you to the exam room, and may take your vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, and weight.
  • You will also be asked if you smoke. If you do smoke and are ready to try to quit, my MA can give you information about the many services we provide to help you quit.
  • If you need to have a form completed, or if you have brought records from outside KP, please give them to my MA.

You'll receive a Preventive Health Prompt (PHP).

  • Your Preventive Health Prompt lists all of the preventive tests, screenings, and immunizations you have had in the past and when you are due for your next test or screening. We may discuss some of these with you.

We will review your medical information, which is readily available through computers in our exam rooms.

  • We can review your lab results and X-rays during your visit. We can order any lab tests, X-rays, or medicines that you'll need. You won't need a paper prescription or lab order form. After we submit the order, you just go to the laboratory, pharmacy, or Radiology department and present your card.

You may have a physical examination.

  • We will discuss your medical history and any symptoms or problems you are having.
  • Based on your symptoms, I may conduct a physical examination.
  • Our role in Infectious Diseases is often as a consultant working with your primary care doctor or another specialist. This could involve diagnostic testing or procedures to help evaluate and diagnose your condition. There are times when further treatment, testing, or even surgery may be needed.

Tests or procedures performed in my office.

  • We can perform some procedures and tests in our clinic at the time of your visit. These may include a culture of infected body fluids or wounds. Other times we will refer you to the lab, or we may refer you for imaging, like an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound. These can all be helpful in diagnosing a condition.

Please ask questions.

  • It is always good to ask questions and voice any concerns you may have about the instructions, medical tests, medications, or treatments. If you don't understand my answers, please ask for more information.

Before You Leave

Before you leave, my MA will give you a copy of your After Visit Summary.

  • This summary includes my name and the date and time of our visit, your vital signs, the tests and medications I have ordered for you, and any immunizations that are due. It usually includes the instructions we have given you during the visit and any follow-up information.
  • You can refer to your After Visit Summary if you forget what we discussed, or if you just want to recheck your vital signs. You can also view your After Visit Summary online from any computer by clicking on “My Health Manager” after you have logged into

After Your Visit

Test and imaging results

If you have had lab work, other tests or imaging done, we may contact you with the results by letter, e-mail, or phone, or make a follow-up appointment to discuss the results.

In many cases you may view some of your test results online. They are often available online before we contact you. Please note that some results, like cancer test results, HIV results, and imaging results, are excluded from viewing online.

I will be looking at your test and imaging results and consulting with your other doctors as needed.

Follow-up questions or next steps

  • You can contact me by secure e-mail for nonurgent questions. This allows you to communicate directly with me. I am usually able to respond to questions within 24 to 48 hours. 
  • You can call my office to schedule an appointment or speak to an advice nurse if you have questions.

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