Monday, December 07, 2009

Please Print Legibly

I'm not much for paperwork. In fact, I hate it.

In my private practice, I give people directions on the phone: how to get to my office, where to park, what to bring, what to do about their health insurance, yadayadayada.... It's a lot of information. I don't have forms, except for an Authorization to Obtain/Release Psychiatric Information, and I give people a single sheet of Office Policies with my cancellation policy and how to reach me: cell phone, home phone.

No other forms, and a few times I've wished I had an emergency contact or some piece of information I didn't have at my fingertips. So I'm moving this month and I'm re-thinking my professional life. Mostly, I've funneled my anxiety into the decor--I'm now on my 5th and 6th quarts of sample paint. Why does
taupe look purple when you put it on the wall?

Oh yeah, I was talking about forms. So I'm going to try sending out a few sheets of information before the first appointment: directions, where to park, what to expect, what to bring, and a form requesting some basic contact info. I've been wondering what other people do, and so I've been surfing other shrinks' websites to see what they do: a lot of them have their forms up, some even have their fees listed. This is interesting.

So the forms thing also gets interesting. Some people have really extensive, all-inclusive, no-issue-left-unaddressed forms. One doc asks people to circle the name of any psychotropic they've ever been on, and he lists the name of every psychiatric medication. Here's the list:

Abilify diazepam metamphetamine Rozeram Adderall divalproex sodium Methylin Serax alprazolam doxepin methylphenidate Serentil Ambien Effexor mirtazapine Seroquel amitriptyline Elavil Moban sertraline amoxapine escitralopram Modafanil Serzone amphetamine Eskalith molindone Sinequan Anafranil fluoxetine Nardil Stelazine Antabuse fluphenazine Navane Strattera Asendin flurazepam nefazodone Surmontil atenolol fluvoxamine Neurontin Tegretol Ativan Focalin Norpramin temazepam atomoxetine gabapentin nortriptyline Tenormin Aventyl Geodon olanzapine thioridazine bupropion Halcion Orap thiothixene Buspar Haldol oxazepam Thorazine buspirone haloperidol Pamelor Tofranil carbamazepine imipramine Parnate Topamax Carbatrol Inderal paroxetine topiramate Celexa Klonopin Paxil Tranxene Centrax Lamictal pemoline tranylcypromine chlordiazepoxide lamotrigine perphenazine trazodone chlorpromazine Lexapro phenelzine triazolam citalopram Librium Pimozide trifluoperazine clomipramine lithium prazepam Trilafon clonazepam Lithobid Prolixin trimipramine clorazepate Lithonate Primidone Valium clozapine Lithotabs propranolol valproic acid Clozaril lorazepam protriptyline venlafaxine Concerta loxapine Provigil Vivactil Cylert Loxitane Prozac Wellbutrin Dalmane ludiomil quetiapine Xanax Depakene Lunesta Remeron ziprasidone Depakote Luvox Restoril Zoloft desipramine maprotiline Risperdal zopiclone Desyrel Mellaril risperidone Zydis Dexedrine mesoridazine Ritalin Zyprexa dextroamphetamine Metadate

Just in case you were interested.

Other shrinks have fewer forms, but still post some very interesting stuff. One has photos of herself in a red leather skirt on an analyst's couch (I thought it was an ad for a TV show about a psychiatrist!), another includes his resume and mentions he was an Eagle Scout.

Okay, so tell me if you have a shrinky website, I'd love to look at it. And since I've always just asked people questions and never asked them to fill out forms, tell me how you feel about forms, both from the doc's point of view, and also from the patient's perspective. Thank you!

Oy, the Ravens, they aren't doing so well. I think they got the wrong forms.