This upsets me: I made a promise I couldn’t keep, and I regret this.
As the Health Guide at the HealthCentral SZ website I was sometimes asked to recommend a shrink, from people in India and Saudi Arabia of all places.
When I talked to a colleague recently, he suggested it’s not as simple as handing a person the name and number of an M.D.
In the interest of providing a better answer, in this blog entry I’ll detail my experience with choosing a doctor.
Then in the next entry I’ll list Psychiatrist Questions you can ask any prospective shrink.
The M.D. has to know the patients history: their unique constellation of symptoms; track record with taking meds–and numerous other details.
In 2003 I researched the names of three doctors and called them on the telephone to screen them.
One shrink required that I sign a waiver of liability releasing him from any responsibility.
I thought: if he doesn’t trust me, how can I trust him? Further: it revealed that he wasn’t confident enough in his own judgment and expertise in treating patients. If he was confident, no waiver would’ve been needed.
Shrink #1: ruled out.
Doctor #2 operated out of a low-income clinic. The person who answered the phone told me point blank that I wasn’t a candidate for a low-income clinic. (I kid you not.)
M.D. #3 had decided to retire and no longer had a practice.
Dr. A was the final choice that a former friend recommended.
As soon as I entered his office and he shook my hand, I thought: “This is the guy I want treating me.”
He hadn’t even opened his mouth. He hadn’t even started the intake.
You should always go with your intuition. The first time I met Dr. A I grilled him in detail. I had walked into his office with a list of 20 questions.
I recommend grilling 3 doctors and using your intuition to choose the shrink you think is the best one to treat you or your loved one.
(I’ve also had success using my intuition to choose a therapist and an apartment I wanted to buy.)
Now I’ll sing off and post another blog entry with a list of Psychiatrist Questions.