Finding a general practice doctor with mental health experience
April 14, 2017 8:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm happy with my psychiatrist, but I need to find a GP that has a better than average grasp on mental health issues, possible medication interactions, etc. How can I find a general or family practice doctor with adult mental health experience, particularly anxiety and depression? So far search results are cluttered with specialists.

Any recommendations for the St. Louis area in particular would be great.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
ask your psychiatrist?
posted by Skipjack at 9:46 AM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd search for the names of medical clinics in your area, and look at their website to see what services they offer. Arkansas is short on psychiatrists, so the new "trend" is for the primary care/family clinics to have a mental health counselor or an APN specializing in psych on staff to consult with the PCP. Therefore, instead of looking for an MD with psych experience, look for a clinic who has a mental health professional (LCSW, LPC, APN, etc) on staff and then ask them how they work together with the PCP. Those clinics will also tend to have MDs who are more interested in the mental health of their patients but may not hold the experience themselves (as opposed to GPs who want nothing to do with mental health issues and refers their patients to psychiatrists).
posted by MultiFaceted at 9:55 AM on April 14, 2017

1) Ask your current doctor.

2) Call and ask for a GP that has experience with mental health when looking for doctors and appointments. You can also usually ask to talk to medical staff (not just front office) with most phone systems. (Like, press 1 for appointments, 2 for nurses, etc. You can skip straight to the medical staff or be transferred and ask them.)

3) In an appointment ask bluntly what you asked here. "What is your experience and approach to mental health? Specifically my anxiety and depression?" and listen to their answer.

Overall all, with my experience, don't be afraid to just ask this stuff to the staff. They're there to help you and if they aren't being helpful then it's likely not an office you want to visit anyway.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:17 AM on April 15, 2017

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