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Old 10-20-2015, 05:53 AM
101 posts, read 107,515 times
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What's the best way to find a good psychiatrist? I don't feel comfortable asking anyone for personal recommendations, plus I doubt too many people around me have seen one.

Is a psychiatrist at a large hospital better than one at a small private practice?
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:10 AM
Location: Austin
13,576 posts, read 7,777,928 times
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You can ask your personal physician for a recommendation.

As to how many people around you are seeing or have seen a psychiatrist or psychologist, you may be surprised. I've known many, many people over the years who have sought mental health help.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:40 AM
Status: "The lesser of two evils is still evil." (set 23 days ago)
Location: City Data Land
16,283 posts, read 9,646,540 times
Reputation: 31693
Lilac, I don't know where you are, but if you're in Houston, I can give you the name of mine. PM me and I'll send it to you. She's the best. I've been seeing her since 2008. Assuming you're not, which is a good bet, I looked on the doctor list with my insurance plan. They had them listed by subspecialty, so I chose a few that seemed appropriate, then checked the patient reviews for them on vitals.com. There are several review websites that will give you patient reviews for doctors, but I like vitals the best, and I have found these websites to be invaluable. They give scale ratings about wait time, staff attentiveness, doctor attentiveness, ease of getting refills, etc. I chose one based on the ratings and comments. I left my old psychiatrist at a large group practice because the group kept bouncing me around from one doctor within the practice to another as staff needs changed, so I had no continuity of care. I was also very overmedicated (6 psych drugs) and the wait time was ridiculous for each appt, often 1 hour+. And when you see a psychiatrist every two or three months, that gets really old really fast. So I switched. It was a very good decision.

My psychiatrist is an adolescent psychiatrist, interestingly enough, but she agreed to accept me as a patient. She has been the best psych doctor I ever had, and I've had several. When I met her, I was impressed by her warmth and caring. She cut my meds down to 2 and I rarely have to wait long in the waiting room. If I need to speak to her directly, she will call me back herself the same day. Soon after I became her patient, my insurance changed and she didn't accept my new insurance. She offered to transfer my file to a new doctor, but I didn't want another one, so she charges me a low cash rate, and has never increased the rate the whole 7 years I've been seeing her. I moved since I started seeing her, and now I drive 1.5 hours each way to get to an appointment, but it's worth it. It's definitely worth the effort to take the time to find a good psychiatrist. It's usually a long term relationship and you see them more often than regular doctors, so you want to be sure you have a good rapport with them. I hope that helped!

ADDENDUM: I suggest you go with a doctor at a private practice over any other setting. Group practice doctors have a tendency to drop the ball when taking messages because of the multiple doctor setup, they often have multiple locations, which can lead to confusion on everyone's part, and sometimes they want to substitute one doctor for another in a pinch, and I don't like that personally. And hospital psychiatrists normally only see hospitalized patients, not outpatients. Conversely, psychiatrists in a typical private or group practice usually don't see patients in the hospital, even if they are their own patients. Instead, the hospital psychiatrist takes over their care while they are in the hospital. I have no idea why, but that's how it is.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:10 PM
3,431 posts, read 3,355,376 times
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It might be a good idea to see a regular MD (a general practitioner or GP) for a referral. Psychiatrists (they're also actually MDs) often have different specializations... could be adolescent psychiatry, or treating schizophrenia, or maybe anxiety disorders, etc. Try to find one who has some experience with your particular problem, in other words.
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