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Most important re: A psychiatrist?

Quality in a P-doc most important to YOU  

79 members have voted

  1. 1. please choose ONE

    • Intelligence - Knowledge (current in their field) and a finely tuned abiltiy to be able to apply it speciifically to individual patients.
    • Empathy - it's obvious they care about you, it shows - they listen & make you feel hopeful
    • Reputation - Attended a "top school" - has a good rep among patients and-or colleagues ; they must be reknowned for good reasons
    • Flexibility - very willing to try new - more medications that may help

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I've never tried a poll here and just wanted to do it.

Yes - I know it's hard to pick just ONE quality you prefer over others in a P-doc - and yes, they're ALL important, IMO - but please try anyway.

I know your definition of these qualities and mine may differ - if in doubt, please go with what's written in the poll description.

I also realize some qualities may overlap in your mind; that's okay, IMO - if you vote based on the descriptor (like I said above)

People will answer based on their own experiences - and that's great, IMO. I'm still curious - and it will still be interesting to know the answers overall, re: What folks consider most important.

I'm just curious, that's all.

Comments on why you think what you do are most welcome

Thanks if you participate.

I'm secretly hoping that if some p-docs or psych residents read this, they take it seriously.


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I voted for empathy. I just need to feel cared about ad valued or I can't trust them to mess aroud in my head. I also like them smart, funny and flexible, but without the empathy I'd be out the door.

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i chose intelligence, because that's the problem i've had even more often than a lack of empathy (which is enough to send me packing when i'm depressed). never again do i want to deal with a pdoc who knows less about any psych med than i do - s/he should always know MORE than me. i've had more wasted years on bad meds due to my doctor(s) lack of education than i care to think about.

i don't want to pay to share my pain with anyone who doesn't care, but i even more stronly balk at paying someone to write me one more prescription without an intelligent explanation for why it may be helpful.

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It's important to me to have a good relationship with my pdoc, but I chose intelligence because I tend to get along with smart geeky people who don't necessarily have a lot of people skills. I usually don't get along as well with touchy-feely people.

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I cannot vote in this poll, I'm sorry, simply CANNOT do it. I MUST have a pdoc with all these things and do not value one above others. My pdoc must be smarter than me, obviously, but also take MY intelligence into account and work with me on stuff and be willing to try/listen to my ideas.

I want a chance to try off label meds because they work for me. My pdoc did not blink (and actually reserached, through servier's website) my tienaptine for me and includes in on my meds list after he ensures that I import it safely, which I do. I did that out of desperation and would have been too scared to tell my CMH doc about it because he would have been all OVER me and that would not have worked for me, which is why I switched.

I like a bit of empathy, but not too much. My pdoc knows i'm suffering, but he doesn't have to listen to me vent for a long time, he's there to fix my meds so I don't suffer/problem solve with me. My pdoc is a problem solver.

I like that he uses testing, e.g., asking me to find and fill out the Young Mania scale for my kid prior to visit on Thursday. It was reassuring because it has validity and helps me see that I am neither over nor under reacting, after filling it out. That's nice and logical...

He has a good reputation around here, he's known as a nice guy, a good doc, and his practice is closed because he is currently full.

That said, he's not for everyone, my husband hated him. But to his credit, he was really upfront that he didn't want to take the case because he hates/is bad at legal issues, so gave Mr. A meds to tide him over until we found the right fit, which was smart and kind, and did squeeze him in even though he was full, because it was an emergency, and managed him by phone for a bit for free until we got him stable.

I KNOW my pdoc cares about me, but I like his boundaries, and that he has an answering service but if he's playing golf on a Monday, it's cool that he won't call unless it's hospitalization time. I can also take care of myself to a great extent, and know when to call/not call etc. That's fine with me.

He's surprised me by calling early a few times if he's just stopped by the office for whatnot on a Monday and gotten a message for me.

All around nice guy, very smart, and good with my kid. He does sweet stuff like printing out great old record shops for my kid when we went on vacation to CA because kid is interested in that, and he's just... the greatest. I really like this guy.

But like I said, he has all these qualities in the right amounts for me and right order. He's good. That's all i can say. I value GOOD psychitary above all else, and just a good fit and working relationship. I want my pdoc to be my FULL partner and it's an equal relationship. My pdoc will not MAKE me do anythign, but I follow his recommendations, because I respect his ass.

sorry I couldn't vote.


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i voted intelligence because i feel like if s/he has that, then it covers (somewhat at least) the other categories. they should be renowned in their field, would have the intelligence and see the need for being flexible with new meds, and though empathy might be the least related, i would think (hope) that they would understand that relating to their patients is a helpful asset to say the least. i would hope that all those intelligent pdocs w/o empathy would stick to research (though we all know that's not true...).

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I went with intelligence, even though I don't really agree that the descriptors necessarily come from intelligence, especially the taking a long time to diagnose. I kind of think the more intelligent and experienced a pdoc is, the less time it should take to diagnose, but whatever.

As for the rest, I think flexiibility necessarily follows from intelligence in this context. Reputation can be based on any number of things irrelevant to clinical skill. And empathy is nice, but not really necessary from a pdoc in the way it is from a tdoc. I don't really care whether or not my pdoc feels my pain, so long as she's able to treat it.

I'd also list responsiveness as an important quality in a pdoc. Returning phone calls in a timely fashion, willingness to make emergency appointments, taking what you say about symptoms and side effects seriously.

All that said, my very favorite thing about my pdoc is that, at this point (I've been seeing her for about 5 years) she lets me do what I want with my meds about 98% of the time. When she doesn't, she always explains her reasoning, and it's always good.

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I chose empathy, but my PDoc is actually extremely intelligent and empathetic at the same time, I'm truly blessed.

My Bipolar I disorder is treatment resistant, I've given him a lot of gray hairs in the 3 years we've been together but he's hung in there,


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Intelligence. Definitely.

Flexibility is very important.. but if you don't have the smarts to back it up that just leaves me out on my own rx'ing myself. Done that, (and I'm kind of doing that now) but I need someone that can troubleshoot with me. At least the pdoc I have now is on par with me.. that sounds snobbish, and he does have a more complete foothold of course, but it's pretty much me just saying I want to try this, him agreeing that it couldn't hurt, and there we go. The last one didn't have a clue. I really miss my old pdoc Vijapura. I had to stop seeing him because I moved & now I can't see him because he stopped accepting Medicare. Not only is he extremely capable, he also cares and is very up to date on the new studies (he host's many of them). He has given me a reference though - going to follow up with that in a few months after giving my cocktail some time to stew.

Luckily I've also had pdocs who've cared, but I can and will easily give that up for ability.

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My vote was for empathy, although as others have mentioned intelligence is also just as equally important. I want someone who knows what they're talking about. Although from past experience I have to say, and just strictly from my own experience, while intelligence is important, I prefer they have a good bedside manner, and understand how I feel as a person. I guess what I mean is that they have empathy and understand things can be difficult. But then that comes to me, where I have to understand that while I have these problems, I also have to make decisions regarding my attitude if I really want to make a difference.

I think it's a mutual thing. They understand how I feel, and that I have to have respect for what they try to do for me.

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For a p-doc, intelligence. I am really happy that I genuinely like my current p-doc, as well as feeling confident that he knows what he is doing. But my p-doc prior to this one was very good with the psycho-pharmacological issues, but kind of a dick. It didn't help that he and my dad had strained relations. But he was very good. For therapy, it is a different story.

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I'd say inclusion is the most important factor I look for in any mental health professional. I'm highly arrogant and quickly critical of others' abilities to know what's in my own best interest. This attitude hasn't gotten me far, and I'm trying to be more accepting of suggestion... but the instinct is still there. My psychologist is well aware of this character trait of mine, and it's part of the reason we get along so well.... she goes along with my quirks while making subtle hints at which direction I should go in... while still allowing me to take the credit for the idea.

It's ridiculously absurd, I know... but it's control.

Now if I could find a psychiatrist that recognized my need for this type of interaction... I wouldn't feel like I had to manipulate them into prescribing what I want anyway.

jouez le jeu - work with me

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