Picking a doctor when doctor information in my area is scarce?
December 27, 2011 6:54 AM Subscribe
How do I pick a psychiatrist when I can find absolutely no information (besides the basics like contact info and education history) on any of the doctors in my area?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (7 answers total)
Basics- I'm a biological female who is severely questioning her gender identity, and whose sexuality is in a whirlwind. I recently took a job as a copywriter and have been finding that I am having extreme trouble concentrating and focusing. It is like my mind is in a whirlwind as well, with millions of individual thoughts all pestering me to pay attention to them, not my job. I have always had problems focusing (drifting into daydreams nearly constantly, distracted by everything, and occasionally bouts of extreme focus where I absolutely MUST do something, and while I do it the entire world fades around me, as though only I and my task exist). I breezed through high school because my history as being an honor student followed me until graduation, so teachers generally let my mishaps slide, and I graduated valedictorian despite not being able to focus on most work and focusing on some work so much that the end product was basically indecipherable. This pattern (if you can call it that) of focus/unfocus has really been affecting my performance in my writing job. Change requests pour in. It sometimes takes me hours to write what should be a 20-minute piece. My sister has ADHD, and I'm starting to suspect that I may have ADD (I've never been hyperactive in any way).
I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and social anxiety with agoraphobia in August by my child/adolescent psychiatrist. She prescribed me medication (BuSpar) and it helps a little bit with the anxiety, or at least enough for me to be fine with taking it.
I live in a small town (pop. ~50,000) and recently turned 18. My former psychiatrist, whom I saw every other week and who prescribed me my anxiety medication, was specifically a child psychiatrist, so she will no longer be seeing me for sessions. She said that she will continue to authorize my prescriptions for my anxiety meds, but due to reasons that I don't understand (insurance? clinic policy?) she won't perform therapy on me any longer.
I need to find a new psychiatrist. The problem is that because my town is so small, I can find virtually no reviews of any of the psychiatrists practicing in it. I can find their names, addresses, phone numbers, and sometimes educational history, but that's it. No patient reviews or ratings, nothing but the basics. There are around 12 practicing psychiatrists in the area, and there is hardly any information on any of them.
So how do I pick one? Googling their names gives me doctor review sites (no information) and nothing else. I've got nothing to go on at all and I don't know what to do. Should I simply call some of them at random, ask to speak to the doctor, and go from there? This is the first time I've ever had to handle a medical situation on my own. I'm lost. Any advice? How do you pick a doctor when there is no information available on any of the doctors in your area?
If you want to email me about this I've set up a throwaway account at email@example.com.