Updated: Aug 27
Your doctor will likely bring up many of these topics, but in case they don't, feel free to bring them up! Your doctor asks you dozens if not hundreds of questions, there's no reason why you shouldn't ask them questions too!
Here are some useful questions and topics to bring up with your psychiatrist:
What is your approach to diagnoses?
How do you like to work with patients?
Do you provide therapy?
What are your thoughts on prescribing controlled substances?
Do you provide in-person visits? Video visits?
Do you accept insurance?
At your first visit, you and your psychiatrist will align on the shared goal, whether it be to reduce depression or anxiety, manage grief, deal with an interpersonal conflict, etc. Goals change over time. That's why it's important to think about your progress made-to-date and whether you have new or changing goals. Despite what they say, your psychiatrist isn't a mind-reader and would love for you to let them know of if you have changing priorities with your care.
Always talk with your doctor about changing medications or dosages before making any changes on your own.
The treatment plan
What medications will we be using?
What are the risks, benefits, and alternatives to our treatment?
How come this is the best approach?
How long will I be on medications or getting therapy?
What should I expect with my diagnosis? Will it go away? What symptoms should I look out for?
If any of your medications, herbs, or supplements change, let your doctor know. These substances all carry risks and benefits, and because they can have unwanted interactions, it's important for your psychiatrist to know what you are taking even if it is a supplement, purchased over-the-counter, or prescribed by another physician.
Your psychiatrist wants to do a great job for you. If you have any concerns about the care you are receiving, let them know. For example, if you think you don't need to be seen as often, or if the pricing is no longer affordable for you, let them know. These are common, expected topics that come up in the course of treatment.
If you have any constructive suggestions related to your care, let your psychiatrist know. They want to optimize your experience across discovery, scheduling, visits, payment, follow-up, etc. Your feedback is crucial to to helping the clinic run better for you and patients like you!
At West Coast Psychiatry, we pride ourselves on constant improvement
We are always looking for ways to provide better experiences for patients before during, and after their visits.