6 Considerations to make when choosing a psychiatrist

6 Considerations to make when choosing a psychiatrist


Asking for help from a psychiatrist when you have difficulty dealing with your feelings, relationships, or even behaviors is the best decision you can make. The role of a medical psychiatrist in mental health is to diagnose mental conditions and prescribe medication or other forms of treatment to help you manage symptoms like anxiety, depression, stress, sleep problems, and psychosis.

It can be overwhelming to choose a psychiatrist, especially if you are not familiar with psychiatry. But worry not. Find out some of the considerations you need to make to find the right psychiatrist.

Ask for referrals

The easiest way to find a psychiatrist you can trust is to ask for referrals from your primary care physician, hospital, other healthcare providers, family, or friends. Note that psychiatric practices and subspecialties differ. While some psychiatrists work at regular hospitals and healthcare clinics, others work in private facilities. When you get a referral, call the office to learn more about their services and research extensively before making up your mind.

Research the credentials of the psychiatrist

First and foremost, ensure the psychiatrist is board certified. That means they have the necessary qualifications, training, and experience to handle psychiatric problems. For instance, if looking for a psychiatrist for your child or teenager, you can narrow your search to a certified psychiatrist in children and adolescent psychiatry. Ensure the psychiatrist has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary action during your research.

The psychiatrist’s experience

One of the most important considerations to make when looking for a psychiatrist is their experience. You want to engage with a professional who has handled different psychotic problems, which increases the chances of successful treatment. For instance, if you need a specific procedure, start by asking how many such procedures the psychiatrist has performed before and the success rates. Ideally, the more experienced a psychiatrist is, the better.

Consider the gender

When it comes to psychiatric treatment, you will have to discuss personal information with your psychiatrist, so it is good that you feel comfortable with your psychiatrist’s gender. Keep in mind that psychiatrists are becoming more skilled in treating women and men differently and even transgender individuals. It is essential to ask how specifically the psychiatrist training is related to your condition and gender identity to identify the best provider.

Enquire about telehealth capabilities

With the advancement of technology, healthcare providers can now treat patients using telecommunications technology like smartphones, two-way videos, and email. That is what is known as telehealth. Although it cannot replace one on one visits to the doctor, it enables fewer visits to the doctor’s office every time you need help. Telehealth is vital in psychiatry as it can be used for follow-ups and minor complaints; hence it is a more convenient option. Therefore it is best to hire a psychiatrist who offers telehealth services.

Evaluate their communication style

Last but not least, evaluate the communication style of the psychiatrist to see if you are comfortable speaking with them. Remember that therapy can take several weeks to months, so you need to build a relationship of mutual trust with your psychiatrist. Choose a psychiatrist who is interested to know you.