Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I get an appointment with an MDABC psychiatrist?
In order to see a psychiatrist you will need a referral from your family doctor or from a walk-in clinic. Ask your doctor to fax in a referral to MDABC (fax number 604.873.3095), and our booking clerk will call you directly to schedule an appointment. We have noted on our website some Walk-in Clinics where the doctors are most willing to make a referral for you to MDA.
2. How long is the first appointment? What can I expect?
Prepare to be at our office for approximately 45 minutes for your initial appointment. You will fill out some forms and rating scales, and then you will have an assessment with a psychiatrist. The doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and history with a purpose of trying to make a psychiatric diagnosis.
3. What should I bring with me?
Please bring your carecard with you. If your contact information has changed since your referral was sent in (including the name of the referring doctor, your addres or phone number), please let the receptionist know.
4. Can I bring a family member with me to my appointment?
Yes, if it makes you feel more comfortable and/or you believe the family member has valuable information on your situation to share with the doctor that you may not remember. If you wish your family member to join you (sorry, no friends due to confidentiality) in your evaluation with the psychiatrist – please inform the doctor before he/she starts his/her meeting with you.
5. Do I have to pay for the appointment?
No, as long as you have up-to-date coverage from your provincial medical services plan (MSP).
6. What happens after my first appointment?
After your initial appointment, a consultation report will be sent to both your family doctor and directly to you. We do this because we want you to understand what our thoughts are, how the psychiatrist came to the conclusions he/she did, and we want you to be an active and educated participant in any treatment decisions going forward. The consultation report will include a psychiatric diagnosis (if the psychiatrist assesses that a specific psychiatric diagnosis is present) and treatment recommendations. Instructions will be included in your report about where to get the best treatment for your specific concerns. Follow-up care with your MDABC psychiatrist is available on an as-needed basis.
7. What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can write prescriptions. All psychiatrist visits are paid for by your provincial medical services plan. Psychologists are not medical doctors, they cannot write prescriptions, and appointments are not covered by MSP. However, some private health insurance plans will reimburse you for psychologist appointments.
8. What’s a group medical visit (GMV)?
A group medical visit is also known as a shared medical appointment. If the MDA psychiatrist who assessed you recommends treatment with medication, and you are interested in having our psychiatric staff monitor and/or prescribe medications, you are welcome to receive this follow up treatment in our GMV. A GMV is a supportive environment in which 6-10 patients come together with the psychiatrist to evaluate and discuss their on-going medical treatment. Every patient has the opportunity to speak with the doctor during the GMV, and learn more (by listening to treatment suggestions for other patients who will likely have very similar illnesses) about the medical treatment of their psychiatric illnesses. GMV’s are offered several times a week and patients may book a spot through our online booking system on an as-needed basis. There is a link to a video of one of our GMVs on the website so that you can understand this treatment better.
9. Do you have evening or weekend appointments?
No, our doctors see patients during weekdays. If you are in crisis and need immediate help, you should report to the Emergency room of your nearest hospital or call 911.
10. Do the psychiatrists write prescriptions?
Yes, MDABC psychiatrists can certainly write prescriptions; however, it is essential for patient safety that you only have one doctor prescribing psychiatric medication for you.