Friday, December 13, 2013

Decisions: Preference vs. Convenience

Recently, I called the mental health center to reschedule my appointment with my psychiatric doctor whom I've been receiving services from for three years, and to my surprise he no longer works there. Because I really like receiving services from this doctor I sought him out online and found another practice where he works, and received his phone number. I spoke to him directly and learned where I could schedule another appointment to see him elsewhere. I called the new agency and asked about their process of becoming a new client and if they accept my type of insurance, which they do. Now I am considering switching centers to continue receiving mental health services from my doctor.

My experience with mental health doctors has either been okay or really good. During my recovery I've come across two doctors out of five who I think are passionate about their practice and who sincerely  listen to my concerns beyond asking me the routine questions about self-harm, and whether or not I am hearing voices. One of my favorite doctors waited after hours to have a meeting with my mother to discuss my treatment and any questions she had. This same doctor told me I could return to college after receiving my diagnosis of schizophrenia. My current doctor is awesome because he was flexible. When I wasn't able to maneuver to the center because of another medical issue that landed me in the hospital for a while my doctor increased the amount of pills in my order and even had a telephone session, which showed me really cared about my well being.

The obvious concerns I have about switching agencies include: wait time, frequency of doctor visits, and support groups with options to meet my needs, and location convenience. My current mental health agency is near public transit, but the agency where my doctor transferred to is not near public transportation routes. However, I do have access to another method of transportation which is my health insurance that offers rides to any medical appointment with advance notice, but I've never used it because I did not need it in the past.

What do you think are some other concerns I should take into consideration before transferring to another agency in order to keep a great doctor?

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI, Embracing My Mind, Choices in Recovery, and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

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