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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I am initiating a commercial research project where I would

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I am initiating a commercial research project where I would like to seek input from one or two local psychiatrists expert in the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Ideally these physicians will see a fair number of patients and really know the disease states. How do you recommend I go about identifying a few people to consult with?

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

You are asking a fascinating question.In one sense all psychiatrists are now "expert" in pharmacological treatment of mental disorders: the biomedical model has replaced the psychosocial model in psychiatry almost completely over the last few decades.

Second, Schizophrenia and BD are the among the most common psychiatric disorders that psychiatrists treat today. (Depression and anxiety will soon no longer be treated by psychiatrists at all as insurance companies won't refer to them but will expect PCPs to prescribe, which they're already doing en mass.)

So really the challenge I had in helping you with this was how to differentiate who would be "experts" today over any other psychiatrists. And my answer is psychiatrists working in university hospitals.

These teaching docs are going to by definition see more of the severe cases of BD and schizophrenia as well as just more cases. And they will have experience with a wider range of meds than docs in private practice. I think, then, that going through the staff list at the university hospital(s) in your area will be the most efficient use of your time.

The next step lower would be the hospital docs in the city hospital(s). They see more psych patients with extreme symptoms than private practitioners. They tend to be more busy than anyone else I've ever met. And they rarely have time to schmooze in my experience. So they may be much harder to get to than the university hospital docs.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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