How to find a psychiatrist who’s a good match for you

Reviewed by:
Dr. Austin Lin, MD – Staff Psychiatrist at Talkiatry
October 29, 2019

We get it, it’s difficult to find a psychiatrist. While you wouldn’t think this would be the case in the 21st century, unfortunately, it is. Once you find a psychiatrist, how can you ensure the doctor is a good match for you? There are many other factors to consider when choosing a psychiatrist, so if you’re not sure where to start, this guide will help you cut through the noise.

Why is it so hard to find a psychiatrist?

Many providers do not accept insurance

Almost half of all mental health providers in America do not accept insurance, compared to 10% in other specialties. This is an alarming fact that hinders the availability of affordable and accessible mental health care. There are many reasons for this, but one of the top reasons is that insurance companies reimburse a psychiatrist, on average, 20% less than other providers.

Many providers aren't taking new patients

As mental health treatment becomes more widely accepted, more people seek help. However, seeking help for mental illness still carries a stigma that can push patients away from hospitals and further lower the pool of available psychiatrists. This leaves you to compete with other patients for treatment availability in group and private practices. In addition, the United States is experiencing a psychiatrist shortage, making it even more challenging to find a psychiatrist. In fact, 57% of adults with a mental illness do not receive any form of care in a given year.

Finding the right fit is hard

Once you find a psychiatrist, you may realize you don’t feel a connection with that doctor, making it difficult to open up in treatment. This might be due to factors like a significant age gap, the provider lacking contextual knowledge about your culture, or a difference in communication styles. In addition, the lack of reviews and transparency in the treatment methods of any given psychiatrist makes finding the right one challenging.

You can start this process by focusing on the right course of treatment for you, whether that includes medication or a specialized form of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. As soon as you find a psychiatrist who provides the type of treatment you need, you can begin to assess whether that provider resonates with you.

Getting in touch with a psychiatrist isn't easy

Due to decreased reimbursement rates and other issues we’ve mentioned here, most psychiatrists do not have a robust platform for patient engagement. There is seldom a way of contacting the right doctor online in real-time to simply ask questions without making an appointment. As a result, you spend more time calling phone numbers and waiting for a response than getting the help you need. To avoid this issue, consider a psychiatrist with up-to-date technology that enables you to communicate and schedule appointments easily.

How do I find the right psychiatrist?

Start on your insurance company’s website.

This is the best way to ensure that you find a psychiatrist who accepts your insurance. In addition, many insurance provider websites will allow you to further narrow your criteria by factors such as location, gender, and language.

Find a psychiatrist that is easy to contact.

In many cases, psychiatrists do not have proper websites with sufficient contact information. Find one that not only has a phone number but an online portal to make appointments. This is an excellent indication of not only how difficult or easy it will be to get an appointment but an indicator of your ease of access for future appointments or issues.

Make sure they are flexible.

It can be difficult to be in the same place at the same time for an appointment each week. If this is a challenge for you, make sure your psychiatrist offers telemedicine appointments. This will allow you to keep your appointments even if you’re traveling. Also, if they have the right technology in place, you can easily reschedule or cancel appointments online.

Be comfortable in their space.

This point is often overlooked, but it’s an important factor to consider to ensure you get the most out of your visits. If the space doesn’t make you feel comfortable while speaking about your mental health, then you should find an environment that does.

Finding a psychiatrist that meets all of your needs may feel impossible, but keeping these factors in mind as you begin your search will allow you to narrow down your options quickly. Uniquely, Talkiatry was built with all of these factors in mind. We have partnered with every major insurer in the country to ensure you have access to the treatment you need, in addition to tech-enabled solutions that make it simple to book appointments and communicate with your doctor. We even offer appointments that fit your busy schedule—including nights and weekends—via telemedicine or in-person treatment in our comfortable office spaces. Receive a preliminary diagnosis by taking our free and easy assessment today, then get matched with one of our psychiatrists, who will help you manage and treat your symptoms based on your unique needs.

About Talkiatry

Talkiatry provides outpatient mental health care services, including diagnosis, psychotherapy, and medication management. At Talkiatry, we are dedicated to providing accessible and affordable mental health care solutions. We provide customized treatment plans focused on helping you feel better, faster. We also offer flexible telemedicine and in-office appointment options to match our therapeutic and modern approach to psychiatric care.

Talkiatry is a mental health practice, and our clinicians review everything we write. However, articles are never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may need mental health help, talk to a psychiatrist. If you or someone you know may be in danger, call 911 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 right away.

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