Process of an Expert Second Opinion
Do you feel stuck in your current treatment? Have you been given diagnoses and medications that just don't seem quite right? Are you frustrated by your lack of progress? It's not your fault! Psychiatry is a complex science and often your symptoms will evolve and change along with you as you progress through life. Plus, the field is advancing every day. You deserve to have the most up-to-date information incorporated into your treatment plan.
Our doctors have vast experience with adjusting and correcting diagnoses and treatments. Many patients seek out or practice for further evaluations of:
- Borderline Personality Disorder (and borderline symptoms in younger individuals)
- Bipolar Affective Disorder (particularly pediatric bipolar affective disorder, around which there is a great deal of controversy even among experts in the field)
- Adolescent Mood Disorders
- Psychosis (especially in children, an extremely rare and wildly over-diagnosed condition)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Gender Dysphoria in children and adults
If you are seeking such a second opinion, the process is similar to, but more involved than, the "initial visit" described above:
Before your First Visit:
After contacting our team, you will be signed up with our Electronic Medical Record. You will be sent pre-visit forms, and a number of validated diagnostic instruments to complete. Additionally, you will be contacted to provide the names of your current and/or prior providers so that we may collect and review your health records (should you have copies, you may mail or fax them to us directly). Your doctor will extensively review all of this information before your visit.
YOUR APPOINTMENT AT THE OFFICE WILL TYPICALLY LAST ABOUT 2 hours.
The timing of these extensive visits can be variable, but plan to spend about 2 hours at our institution. Our psychiatrists will meet directly with you and / or your family for the entire session - you will not be shuttled between multiple assistant providers and social workers, unlike other practices! Your doctor will begin by thoroughly reviewing your past history and medications, to ensure the information is all correct. You will then discuss all of your past psychiatric history so that your doctor has a clear picture of your health and wellness: what has worked in the past and what hasn't; the best times of your life and what contributed to them; any past hospitalizations, their function and results; etc.
AT THE END OF THE VISIT, YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR WILL DISCUSS YOUR DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PLAN.
This can be a lengthy discussion, as your doctor may be changing quite a few of your diagnoses and recommending changes to your current treatment. Feel free to bring a list of questions and objectives to accomplish during this time, and we will make certain to address all of your needs.
After your visit, your doctor will create a written evaluation and report. This is normally quite extensive and can take a few days to complete. This report is considered part of your private health information, and so will remain confidential unless you direct your doctor otherwise. However, copies can be sent to all of your current providers. Additionally, your doctor can draft limited letters and versions to be distributed to other parties (such as schools, employers, government disability organizations, etc). Please note: None of this information can be used in court proceedings or trials - for that purpose, please see the "forensic evaluation" section.
Complementary Follow-Up Visit
Your fee includes a follow-up visit to evaluate the implementation of these recommendations. This can be set up during your visit or at the time of your choosing (many patients return between about 3-6 months).