A psychiatrist is a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders that affect your behavior, emotions, and mental health. A psychiatrist Bethesda can help you manage uncomfortable signs and symptoms, cope with a difficult situation, and regain control of your life. It is advisable to see your psychiatrist when you have a problem adjusting to life, are always anxious or depressed, or have episodes of suicidal thoughts. You may also get help if you experience hallucinations, have memory problems, and excessively use alcohol and drugs.
Because of the importance of a psychiatrist, you should take your time to find one, like when you want to purchase a new car or property. Since you are seeking help for your mental health issues, the psychiatrist you choose must not make you feel afraid and be familiar with your problems, symptoms, and the treatments you may need. Consequently, below are a few tips to help you find the right psychiatrist.
1. Get referrals
Your primary care doctor better understands your overall health once examinations show your symptoms are related to your mental or physical health. Thus, your primary care doctor is better qualified to refer you to the right psychiatrist.
You may also be referred to the best psychiatrist by your friend or a family member. Moreover, your state or community may also provide resource centers listing reputable psychiatrists.
2. Look at credentials
There are mental health providers out there that do not have the qualifications to be psychiatrists. Using the service of a qualified health provider often means you receive enhanced quality care.
You can look at the qualification of a health provider by looking at the post-nominal letters. Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) and Doctor of Medicine (MD) undergo about 12 years of learning. That involves attaining an undergraduate degree, attending medical school, and completing a residency.
Therefore, a qualified psychiatrist has more than eight years of medical education and thousands of hours of clinical experience.
A mental health provider with a name having letters such as PA (Physician Assistant), NP (Nurse Practitioner), or DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) has fewer years of medical education and clinical hours.
3. Board certification
Once a doctor of medicine or osteopathy completes residency training, the next step is to take a national examination for certifying qualification to practice.
A psychiatrist that does not have board certification may raise a red flag. For instance, the health provider may not have board certification due to failure to pass an exam or malpractice.
However, remember that a federal doctor is not required to sit for and pass the national test before seeing you in a clinic.
4. Check patient reviews
Often, patient reviews reflect on the experience with appointment scheduling, wait times, the clinic environment, and the friendliness of the office staff.
A higher level of patient satisfaction may indicate the psychiatrist is right for you.
5. Provision of telemedicine
If you are too busy to visit a psychiatrist physically or prefer to stay away from the clinic, you can still attend an appointment remotely. Telemedicine appointment allows you to meet with your psychiatrist online via video conference or phone call. Therefore, you can access care for your mental health conveniently.
Contact Washington Center for Women’s and Children’s Wellness (WCWCW) today to book an appointment with a qualified and experienced psychiatrist.