Seeing the same psychiatrist year after year may prove to be quite beneficial for those who maintain a good relationship with the doctor and are experiencing positive results. Certain factors may make it impossible to see the same doctor for a certain period of time. Psychiatrists, like other professionals, may need to take a leave of absence for any number of reasons.
Patients may never have heard the term "locum tenens" before, but they soon may gain an introduction when their primary psychiatrist takes leave. Psychiatry locums tenens refers to a new psychiatrist who takes another's place on a short-term basis. There may be a bit of apprehension on the part of the patient when working with a new psychiatrist.
Meeting with a visiting psychiatrist need not be confusing nor evoke serious concerns. Here are a few things to ponder when a new psychiatrist is taking over in the office for a while:
- Understanding Locum Tenens
The most important thing to understand about locum tenens psychiatrists is they are still "real" psychiatrists. The patient may assume -- incorrectly -- a short-term or "traveling" psychiatrist is not a professional on the same level as a consistently residential psychiatrist. The truth is a legitimate practicing and board-certified psychiatrist is a legitimately established professional. He or she would not be practicing psychiatric medicine if this were not the case.
- Learning about the Psychiatrist
Not seeing the temporary psychiatrist as a "real" doctor may undermine the sessions. Prior to meeting with the doctor, ask about his or her experience. Determine where he or she obtained a degree and how long he or she has been practicing psychiatry. Pure facts should dispel any misconceptions and build confidence for the meeting. This, in turn, should make the meeting more productive and, possibly, less apprehensive.
- Setting Up the Session
If a primary psychiatrist says a temporary psychiatrist will be filling in and the patient says, "Okay" and leaves it at that, well, the session with the locums psychiatrist may be a mysterious one. Confidence over psychiatric counseling is not exactly going to be boosted when mystery surrounds the meeting. Talk with the primary psychiatrist about any concerns regarding sessions with the new psychiatrist. Hopefully, the discussion will put concerns to rest and set up a fruitful session with the visiting professional.
Not Out of the Ordinary
The concept of locum tenens counseling is hardly something rarely engaged in. The doctors who take part in this type of treatment usually possess extensive experience in such approaches to practicing. Patients who understand this should feel more confidence about the sessions.