February 19, 2010

The Doctor IS IN (her pajamas)!

The Boy recently had his final appointment with his psychiatrist, Dr. L. She has been our good luck charm - we have not had a single hospital admission since we arrived in MO - a personal record!

Were any of you aware of the continuing shortage of child psychiatrists in the US? Many communities do not have a single psychiatrist - and I know I read of a state that has a grand total of TWO for the entire population. Crazy, huh? (oops, shouldn't say crazy when referring to the "crazy" folks...sorry).

When we moved to MO, I called every child and adolescent shrink in the area. Many were not taking patients; of those who were, most would not take our insurance. When we called Dr. L's office, we hit paydirt - but we had to wait five months to get an appointment (requiring a 70 mile round trip each visit). Suffice it to say that I was freaking out a wee bit upset when she announced that she was resigning from her job. The Boy's care will transfer to another doctor in the practice.

Dr. L's new gig?

She'll be working from home, here in St. Louis. Her patients? Kids in Arizona. Apparently, their shortage of doctors is quite profound. It's the age of telemedicine! She had two T1 lines installed in her home, and has a 42-inch flatscreen monitor and a Web cam so she can communicate with her patients.

Sounds like a sweet deal. She can be at home, and spend more time with her kids. She has zero commute. And as long as she sits behind her desk, she can dress like this:

Dr. L wardrobe
Dr. L wardrobe by junefcleaver

If you click here, you can see the NAMI (The National Association for Mental Illness) state-by-state report card for mental health care. None of the 50 states received an A. The report ranks the treatment of adults with mental illness - I think we can extrapolate that these same issues refer also to our children.

Check out how well your state fared!



  1. Well I guess I better not have any mental issues in Idaho, it got one F and the rest D's.

  2. Well I guess I better not have any mental issues in Idaho, it got one F and the rest D's.

  3. Sweet, Georgia has a D too. Hmmm, maybe that is what is wrong with all these crazy ...oops...challenged people around here.

  4. Utah - D. Suhweet!

    The psychiatrist we found is an absolute miracle story. No joking. Answer to a prayer. She'd just relocated and had an empty schedule.

    Got in to see her in two and half weeks. The child who sees her dreads the visits. She doesn't understand the 1) miracle, 2) ratio of psychs to children, and 3) what a difference a little bit of chemical makes.

  5. Better living through chemistry! When the drugs work, they are miraculous, too.

    When they don't? Heartbreaking and scary.

  6. So weird because Im in AZ and I was just talking to my grandma last night about how I didnt finish college and I had been going to be a child/adolescent psychologist

  7. Telehealth is huge here too! Our cardiologists see a lot of patients up north and it sure saves on health care dollars!


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