There are a few resources that you can use -
Your state's medical board likely has a listing for individual psychiatrists that will show if they were sued, or disciplined, and will also tell you where they trained. The quality of the training program (university affiliated, or not) is a reasonable measure of knowledge and, perhaps, intelligence.
Sites like vitals.com and Angie's list may show patient comments, but those can easily be biased by a couple of very satisfied or very dissatisfied people. You can also begin to get some measure of attitude and availability from your first phone calls to their office. How long does it take to reply? How concerned or hurried do they sound? Although, again, those experiences may not be representative.
In many parts of the country there are local magazines or consumer organizations that rate doctors, sometimes just based on patient satisfaction, but sometimes based on ratings by other doctors. In your area Checkbook.org does this. There is a cost to using the service and they only list a few doctors.
And of course, if you have a primary care doctor, or friends who are savvy, talk to them.
Not sure. In my country, unless you go private, you just take who you're given.
Finding out their specialties and modes of treatment could be helpful. Is a really good question. I hope the doctor here can help you.
Yes, I've done extensive research on the sites you mentioned but they all contain limited information. I guess the best approach would be to chose a few, call them and see how their staff treats patients. One doc was so rude, wanted me to leave a voicemail with my medical history....jeez....don't we discuss that in person? and never called back.
I'm seeing my internist next week so I'll ask him, he works in a hospital so he may know some good "shrinks" we'll see.
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