I am noticing more these days that there are not enough psychiatrists to handle the demand of patients. As your income goes down so does the number of options you have for a medical professional to follow your bipolar illness.
BACK IN THE DAY
When I was first diagnosed back in 1999, my doctor had her own private practice. That seemed like the norm for back in my day. Now, several general practitioners work together in a clinic-type setting. Treatment is very limited because these are family doctors. I have known a few private practicing psychiatrists. They either do not take insurance, they only accept cash or they are bad doctors.
NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS
I have been lucky to have the length of time I have had with my psychiatrists. Recently I had to switch providers, and I was not ready for the upturn in the medical community. So, what did I do? I called around and researched for days until I felt like I had the right information in my pocket. Having a medical professional that monitors my medications is of the utmost importance. You can read my medication article HERE. I wrote another article about the types of questions to ask medical professionals. You can read about these questions HERE.
You need to ask these medical professionals questions. After all, you are determining if you would like to hire them on your support team.
Personally, I still like the private practice model when it comes to psychiatry.
I found two types of medical professionals that do not have an M.D. by their name, but can still prescribe medication and provide awesome, if not better, care than a medical doctor. One is a P.A. (or physician’s assistant) and the other is a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
A nurse can study for their advanced degree to earn their nurse practitioner and even further specialize as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Since nurses are so patient-centered, I leaned toward a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I do not mean to talk so much about titles, but we really need to if we are going to get the treatment we each need.
As clients of this medical system in America, make sure to educate yourself. If someone does not know the answer to your question, or even if they do, go out and find the answer yourself. Your life is literally in your hands.
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