Find out what to expect during your first appointment with a psychiatrist. From what topics will be covered to what forms to fill out before heading to the appointment, knowing what to expect will lessen pre-appointment anxiety.
The purpose of the initial appointment is to allow me to develop an understanding of your symptoms and your life circumstances so that I can make a psychiatric diagnosis and outline potential treatments. During this initial meeting, I will ask about the following topics:
Since we have a limited time to cover a lot of topics, I use a self-assessment form that you will receive via email prior to the appointment. Even if you don’t actually fill out the form – though it is much better if you do – reading over the form will help you to explain your symptoms more completely and accurately.
After we discuss the topics above, I will offer my assessment and if appropriate, a psychiatric diagnosis of your condition. It is often necessary for me to order tests and/or speak with other clinicians before confirming a specific psychiatric diagnosis. If laboratory tests, other diagnostic procedures, or consultation is needed, I will help you with referrals to the appropriate provider.
At this point, I will outline potential treatment options. If psychiatric medication is indicated, I will go over options and discuss side effects. I will leave time for you to ask questions about any aspect of my assessment and proposed treatment. Finally, we will discuss follow-up appointments and how to reach me in the interval between appointments.