Friday, December 14, 2007
Roy referred a patient to me the other day. Thanks, Roy!
The patient made a point of telling me both on the phone and when we met that Dr. Roy had given her a list of psychiatrists, but he'd circled my name. Of the docs on the list, I was the one most highly recommended, or so the patient says.
When I was a new-be psychiatrist and someone came to me saying, "So-and-so says you're really good," I felt a bit uncomfortable, worried I'd disappoint. Sometimes patients came after 3 other shrinks didn't fix them, and I was fresh out of residency: it was a bit intimidating.
I've not done any research on this-- it's more anecdote and if I had real data, I assure you it would be useless---but now I like it when people walk in with the idea that I'm an extra-special shrink. A lot of treatment, especially the beginning of treatment, is about hope, and if people believe they're seeing someone good, someone better than the rest, they walk in hopeful and it seems to me that they're more likely to both connect with me easily and to get better.
There are lots of good psychiatrists in Baltimore, I'm nothing special. But if the patient comes expecting to be helped, chances are better that I'll succeed than disappoint.