There are dozens of Psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners in Philadelphia and on the Main Line. Thus, finding the best psychiatrist in Philadelphia for your individual needs can seem rather daunting (especially when struggling with depression, anxiety, inattention or other difficulties). This site is designed to help you not only determine whether our Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners may be the best fit for your individual needs, but also to provide you with basic information regarding psychiatry, mental health treatment, and psychiatric resources in the Philadelphia and Suburban Philadelphia area.
Before I find a psychiatrist near me, I need some general information…
What is a Psychiatrist? What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A Psychiatrist is a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists in Philadelphia and the Suburban Philadelphia area generally have four years of undergraduate studies in college, four years of medical school, a year of internship in medicine or surgery and then three additional years of specialized training in Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy. Therefore, unlike Psychologists and Therapists, Psychiatrists are physicians who can provide both therapy and medication management for their patients.
What is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP)?
A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners must complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, a Master’s of Science in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and then become Board Certified to prescribe medications; both Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are Psychopharmacologists. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners may work relatively autonomously, providing both medication management and therapy for their patients, provided that they have an agreement regarding supervision and case discussion with a physician or Psychiatrist.
What is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist?
A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is a physician who completed four years of medical school, a year of internship in medicine or surgery, an Adult Psychiatric Residency and then completed an additional 2 years of “Fellowship” focusing only on the Psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents.
Why see a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Philadelphia when my primary care doctor can write for the same medications?
Philadelphia area Psychiatrists and general practitioners (internal medicine physicians and family doctors) have the same four years of medical school and similar internships. However, Psychiatrists have three additional years dedicated to Psychiatric evaluations and treatment and this provides them with expertise in mental health that other physicians do not have. For example, a general practitioner can prescribe medication for elevated cholesterol or blood pressure, but some patients may benefit from having the additional expertise of a cardiologist.
Similarly, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners complete extensive training in the medical care of patients with various medical conditions, followed by additional training in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of individuals struggling with mental health difficulties. This training includes Board Certification in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing & Psychopharmacology. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in the Philadelphia area generally have several times the training in treating mental illness, than medical doctors (MD’s) in primary care specialties.
How Can I Find a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Near Me?
Whether you live in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill or on The Main Line, finding a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner that best fits your specific needs can seem overwhelming. However, it’s no different than finding a specialist in any other area of medicine. Talk to your doctor about Psychiatrists that they recommend, call the departments of Psychiatry at local hospitals or teaching institutions, call your insurance carrier and ask about providers near you that accept your insurance plan, or search the Internet for Psychiatrists in Philadelphia directly. Specify in search engines what you are looking for (and where). For example, searching “find Psychiatrists” may give you a list of Psychiatrists throughout the United States, while searching with phrases like “Psychiatrists in Philadelphia,” “find a Psychiatrist near me” or “Best Psychiatrist on the main line” will direct you to mental health providers within the Philadelphia community. Search engines like “Psychology Today” can allow you to filter searches based on insurances accepted or areas of Psychiatric expertise. If you have family or friends who have seen Philadelphia psychiatrists or nurse practitioners it may be reasonable to ask if they would recommend (or not recommend) a certain doctor or Psychiatrist in the area. See the “Resources” tab for additional information on finding a psychiatrist.
I’ve found several Psychiatrists near me, now how do I choose the Best Philadelphia Psychiatrist for me?
Take your specific Psychiatric illness or struggle into consideration. For example, if you have been hospitalized for your mental illness, you would likely benefit from a Philadelphia Psychiatrist with admitting privileges at a hospital nearby. In this case, you may want to call Philadelphia Psychiatric departments directly (The University of Pennsylvania & Jefferson for example). If you struggle with anxiety and panic, you may want a psychiatrist trained in CBT or exposure therapy. If you are looking for a child or adolescent, you would likely benefit from a Psychiatrist who completed a child and adolescent fellowship. If you have multiple medical co-morbidities, you may benefit from a provider who has a strong medical background or is affiliated with a hospital network where you currently have providers in other areas of medicine (making coordination of care more seamless).
Finally, Psychiatry and mental health treatment in the Philadelphia area and its suburbs is not unlike other areas of medicine in that Psychiatrists’ offices are run in different ways (none being “right” or “wrong” but you may have a preference). Do you want a 5-minute checkup or a 45-minute therapy session? Do you want a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who prescribes quickly or more conservatively? Do you want to see a Psychiatrist or Nurse Practitioner in your neighborhood or a few towns over? Do you want the ability to have walk-in Psychiatric visits or do you want to have a “reserved” time? Do you want a Psychiatrist who accepts your insurance or do you prefer fee-for-service for discreetness? Is tele-health psychiatry a safe option, or would you best be seen in-person?
If you are interested in seeing a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in the Philadelphia area, I recommend that you just call one directly. What better way to see if someone will be a good fit and quickly get some of these questions answered.