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what questions should I ask a new pdoc?


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This would only be my second pdoc, and the first one I only saw twice.  I want to make sure he's good, willing to consider my preferences, and not an a-hole tyrant...of course the reason I've been waiting forever to see him is because I've heard good things about him.  I'm scared though.

Update--Well, I just went today.  He didn't seem to understand why I wanted to see him and didn't seem to care about Wellbutrin making me depressed when I first started taking it.  He also said that if Wellbutrin 150 didn't work to reverse my sexual side effects then it wouldn't even be worth trying a higher dose (wth?).  He went on a long spiel about people with "depressive, obsessive compulsive and perfectionistic tendencies" (including me) and seemed to think my GP might be good enough to treat me, but nevertheless scheduled an appointment two months from now to check on my sexual side effects. I guess I have to feel like shit to go to a pdoc? 

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I'm very interested in this too.  I see a new Pdoc a week from tomorrow.  I love my current pdoc, but she doesn't have much expertise with bipolar disorder so I am going to see one recommended by my therapist, that treats a lot of bipolar folks.

Tommy

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Have they experience with (your problems) before? What kind of success did they have in helping treat those?

What is their philosophy regarding medication and the prospect therapy alongside it? Do they expect to cover any therapy type issues or are they just a medication only type person?

What are their costs like? What about when paying those costs becomes difficult?

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Will and how will you be able to reach him in an emergency? Is there always some pdoc on call?

If you have to call him what is the best way to reach him, does he charge for the call, or if the call is only a few minutes long is it free.

Does he actually receive phone mesages from his staff?

How does he feel about patient involvement in their own treatment? That is, is he willing to work with you and listen to your experiences and success/failure with new meds, meds you have tried before?

Do you like the way he interacts with you? Does his voice annoy you?

What is his policy concerning missed appointments, will you be charged? Will you be charged even if you are sick or can't get to the office?

Are you comfortable in his office, the setting, the waiting room? May not matter much, I am never comfortable in any waiting room, and my pdoc's office is a mess but its comfortable not sterile.

You are the paying customer so don't settle for just any pdoc. we are all different and looking for certain things in a pdoc. So go with your gut about how you feel about the guy. And if he does have a good reputation, then give yourself a few sessions with him before you make up your mind.

I'll add anything if/when it comes to mind.

Let us know how it goes,

Erika

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Heya hollywoodfreaks,

OK a couple of things to add but Karuna and Erika have pretty much covered it off.

Print out that list and take it in with you.

I would also ask about his/her practice regarding family members.  Does he expect or allow family members to come with you to a session?

Will he be comfortable if the need to consult a colleague arises?  You don't want a doc that's too arrogant to ask for help.

Mostly, though, I like what the others have said.

Remember you are hiring this person to do a very important job, so above all, don't be afraid/intimidated to ask these things.

I know I won't be anymore.

Helps that my psychiatrist agrees.

(Hindsight, we all hope to learn from our mistakes, now we can learn from each others')

--ncc--

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In response to your edited post:  this guy sounds like an ass.  I could be wrong on that, but my gut instinct is that people who make patients feel like asses tend to be asses themselves.  Do you feel it's worth continuing to see this man, or would it be possible for you to try someone else?  What sort of selection is available in your are?  (Okay, now it sounds like we're at the supermarket.  "Mom?  Are these canteloupes ripe?")  What kind of "long spiel" was this, and were you comfortable with it? 

Like someone (ncc?) said above, give him a couple of sessions if he's highly recommended, but otherwise, trust your own judgment and look for someone else.  It's the psychiatrist's job to help you get better.  I'd say they're bad at it if seeing them just makes you feel worse. 

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Heya hollywoodfreaks,

Yuck, what a nasty experience.

Assuming you were clear about your symptoms and concerns, what a jerk.

Huh.

So, now what?  As lmnop asked, what other options are available in your area?  What other referrals can your family doc offer?

I mean, sounds like you've got 2 months til this guy wants to see you *anyway.*  So, two months to work on a new referral??

Personally I would see my complicated patient *myself* (okay,out of my depth, but I can learn) before sending them back to someone who might make them *worse.*

Sorry this didn't work out better. Ugh.

Don't give up.  Some of us (me, Tommy, ?) have found good psychiatrists.

--ncc--

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I dunno.  It is possible that I wasn't being clear enough.  Nevertheless, stating over and over "I don't understand why you are here" isn't the best way to establish a good rapport with a patient.  He made me feel like an idiot with that.  And he did seem to like the sound of his own voice.  However, the amount of pdocs in my area isn't exactly extensive so I should probably give him a chance. 

I don't know if I can wait for two months.  Depends on how I'm doing.  And doesn't it seem like BS that he would refuse to let me try a higher dose of Wellbutrin if 150 doesn't work for sexual side effects?

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