family medicine specialty care


Colonoscopy is available at Northwest Family Physicians. It is an effective tool to prevent and detect early colon cancer. Coloncancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Many lives can be saved if precancerous growths (polyps) are discovered before they become cancerous, or if colon cancer is discovered before it has spread. If you are 50 years of age, or older, talk with your provider about scheduling this important screening procedure.


We provide a wide range of dermatology care including treatment of acne, rashes and warts. Other common procedures include biopsies of suspicious moles, mole removal and freezing of precancerous areas on the skin. Please remember that any treatment of a skin condition that is purely cosmetic, is not covered by insurance.

Gynecology Procedures

  • Endometrial Biopsy -Endometrial biopsy is a safe and effective method for evaluation of the tissue lining the inside of the uterus (or womb) for the presence of cancer or precancerous cells. Most women who have this procedure done have abnormal uterine bleeding, or prolonged absence of their period (amenorrhea). A plastic catheter is slipped into the uterus, and small amount of the endometrial lining is suctioned into the catheter. The sample is sent to the hospital for examination by a specialist physician called pathologist. Your doctor will want to talk to you about the treatment plan that is best for you once the report of the tissue examination is completed.
  • LEEP - Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) is a treatment for cervical disease. After cervix is numbed with a local anesthetic, LEEP is performed with a thin wire that uses low-voltage electrosurgical energy to remove the diseased tissue. This special wire removes a section of tissue that can be examined under the microscope, but does not injure the tissue remaining on the cervix.

    LEEP is performed on women with precancerous changes in the cervical tissues. Most women with an abnormal Pap smear initially are evaluated by examination under the microscope with a procedure called colposcopy. If the biopsies perfomed at colposcopy are significantly abnormal, LEEP can be performed to remove the diseased tissue in an effort to prevent the development of cancer.
  • Colposcopy - Colposcopy is the examination of a woman's cervix and genital tissues with a special microscope called a colposcope. Colposcope can be done after an abnormal Pap smear to examine for abnormal growths or to rule out cancer. The Pap smear is a good screening test for disease but results can be incorrect up to 30% of the time. Colposcopy can predict more accurately the extent of disease on the cervix. If the tissue appears abnormal, the doctor will perform scraping and biopsies. The small pieces of tissue removed are examined at the hospital by a specialist physician called a pathologist. Your doctor will want to talk to you about the treatment plan that is best for you once the report of the tissue examination is completed.

Orthopedic Joint Injections

Northwest family physicians offer joint injections. A needle is placed into a joint cavity to remove fluid for analysis, and to inject medicine for pain relief or treatment of a disease.

Stress Testing

Northwest Family Physicians has offered cardiac stress testing for over 20 years at the Plymouth office. A Stress EKG involves walking on a treadmill while the heart is monitored. A Stress Echo adds an ultrasound picture of the heart before and after exercise, which provides additional information. Nuclear Stress Testing can either be done on a treadmill like the other two, or using a medicine that makes the heart behave as if you are exercising. The last test is ideal for people who are unable to walk on a treadmill. In either case an isotope is injected into the bloodstream before and after the test and a picture is taken. The choice of the correct test is made by the doctor or provider based on the reason for the test, resting EKG, cardiac risk factors, previous heart history and other factors. We partner with a group of cardiologists on the tests that involve imaging. If you have any questions about your test please contact the Plymouth office.

Flexible Nasolaryngoscopy

Flexible Nasolaryngoscopy is an examination of your nose, voicebox and upper respiratory tract. During the procedure, a small, flexible, fiberoptic scope (about half the width of a pencil) is inserted into one side of the nose, permitting your doctor to see the curves and small spaces of your nose and larynx. Most people find the procedure to be very tolerable. Your doctor will use numbing medicine to make you as comfortable as possible.


Vasectomy is a common and safe procedure done under a local anesthetic in the office. A consultation is necessary before actually scheduling this procedure. The appointment desk at your office can help you with making an appointment with a physician who performs this procedure.

Suboxone Treatment for Opiod Dependence

Dr Darnell is passionate about helping patients who suffer from the disease of addiction. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine as well as the Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine. He has been certified to prescribe suboxone for opioid dependence since 2005 and has attended addiction medicine conferences annually since 2000.