What makes an Obstetrician Right For You? Ask these 3 questions.

After finding out that you are pregnant, a task that proves even more challenging than those first few months spent battling with morning sickness is finding the right obstetrician. Every expecting woman wants to know that she has the best ob to see her through the pregnancy and delivery.
The resounding concern amongst most pregnant women is finding an obstetrician who respects their wishes. For instance, most labouring mothers want their request for pain relief honoured as opposed having their request denied after being a stern “lecture.” However, most also want to follow the informative advice they get with regards to what is best for their pregnancy.
All these concerns make the process a tasking one, but you can undoubtedly find the right obstetrician in Melbourne.

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Where Do You Intend To Give Birth

In most countries, there is the option of delivering in a public or private hospital. Australia is not any different, and the first step before looking up an obstetrician is to decide if you want to give birth in a private or public hospital.
More than likely, private practice doctors keep sessions at public hospitals. Most women find that choosing a local public hospital that offers maternity services is less expensive than a private care facility. Remember that you want to choose an environment where you will feel cared for both during and after birth.

However, there is still the option of finding a private obstetrician who can deliver your baby at your preferred healthcare institution.

The Anatomy Of The Right Obstetrician

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When it comes to finally settling for obstetricians, it is a process that ends up largely driven by personal preference. Several elements affect your decision, and it makes sense to have a firm idea about the kind of doctor you need before setting out to look for one.

Doctor-patient Relationship

Some women want an open kind of doctor-patient relationship where they are informed about everything concerning their pregnancy and involved in every decision. It perhaps means a “friends-like” approach to the process, and going for a younger and more approachable physician rather than an older old-fashioned doctor.
Others are fine with a need-to-know type of doc-patient relationship and allow the professional to handle decisions that require clinical judgments. Likewise, some women do not have a problem being told what to do rather than being asked what they would like to do.
For instance, if there are risks or complications with the pregnancy some women would prefer to go with their physician’s judgment on the issue. Others would prefer second opinions to make the best possible decision when faced with such situations.

Specialization/Experience

Yes, obstetricians specialize in pregnancy, childbirth, and reproductive health. However, some have more skill and experience handling particularly challenging pregnancies.
Worth figuring out is whether you need an obstetrician who can handle multiple or high-risk pregnancies such as East Melbourne Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EMOG) do. There is the chance of going into early labour and having a preterm baby. Perhaps you had an existing medical condition that could affect your pregnancy and delivery; you want to make sure that the ob can provide the assistance and care you need.
There is also the matter of whether you want a vaginal birth or an elective cesarean delivery. Circumstances can once again affect your choice and call for a cs delivery in emergency situations. It helps to maintain a given level of open-mindedness about it, and also find an ob with experience to respond efficiently to either case.

Availability

Some obstetricians are just in high demand meaning that they may not be available during your delivery. Most women feel comfortable sticking with one obstetrician until the very end. Sometimes it proves impractical based on the obstetrician’s schedule.
A few also work in group practices which means that your obstetrician might not be the one delivering your baby. They might have a rotating roster just to avoid pulling extended long hours meaning less fatigue/stress.
It helps to know that the practice has a team of great obstetricians. It means that you will be fine under their care regardless of who you see during pregnancy and who delivers your baby. However, it might factor into cost, with out of pocket charges going falling on the higher side.

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Contacting Obstetricians

When you do have a clear picture of the type of obstetricians you want to work with, you can go ahead and “interview” a few. It helps to start with recommendations or even revisiting the past. If you have worked with an obstetrician before, you may consider working with them again.
Friends and relatives always prove resourceful when it comes to recommending physicians. You can come up with a few names and numbers to call. It does mean taking a direct approach and asking all the questions you would like to know about a specific obstetrician.
Midwives are also an excellent resource to find out more details that you would not uprightly ask.  You can call in and ask about an obstetrician who can help you through active labour and deliver vaginally. It does not put the midwife in an awkward position, and they can provide a list of doctors.
It does not hurt to talk to mothers and other expectant women. They are likely to be more forthcoming about previous experiences with specific obstetrician regarding a doctor-patient relationship.

The Take-Away

These guidelines should give you a helping hand in finding the right obstetrician in Melbourne. There is the chance that you might settle for an obstetrician and later feel like they are no the right fit. It helps to be forthcoming and raise your concerns to see if you can get past the issues or misunderstandings.
For instance, you might have to deal with the obstetrician’s receptionist a lot when you call, and you want them to be equally understanding. If they continuously do not put you through to the doctor or is not sensitive enough when needed. It can create an uncomfortable and stressful situation for you which at times cannot be solved beyond choosing to go for another obstetrician.
Remember that you want a stress-free experience during pregnancy and after, therefore, do not feel like you are tied to an obstetrician and instead focus on receiving the best care for you and your baby.

mental health

Psychiatrist or Psychologist

Professional medical help is essential to address and alleviate mental health issues. But, the question is whether you should see a psychiatrist or psychologist. When it comes to mental health issues, many people are confused because they do not know how a psychiatrist is different from a psychologist. This article is therefore intended to clear the confusion and help you understand the specific roles played by a psychiatrist and psychologist.

What is common between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

The psychiatrist and psychologist are doctors with the necessary training to address your mental health problems. Both of them can work with you through your problems and aim to guide you managing issues in your daily life.

How do they differ?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has graduated from a medical school, has gone through at least one year of medical internship and brings 3 years of residency experience in assessing and treating mental health issues.

Psychologists, on the other hand, have a doctoral degree in specific area of psychology involving the study of human mind and behaviour. Psychologists are not medical doctors. A psychologist generally has a PhD in philosophy/PsyD in counselling or clinical psychology. Typically, they also go through one or two years of internship. But unlike psychiatrists, psychologists receive training in imparting psychological tests such as personality tests or IQ tests.
Psychiatrists can prescribe medication because of the medical education and training they have and that is the most common distinction between the two professions. However, some states may allow a psychologist to prescribe medication with certain limitations if the individual also had undergone a psychopharmacology course.

The Approach

Rob, director at Melbourne’s top mental health organisation, The Three Seas Psychology says “Generally speaking, psychologists and psychiatrists are trained in the practice of psychotherapy- talking to their patients regarding their problems. However, the different backgrounds they have with regard to training leads to different approaches to solving mental health issues.”

A psychologist closely examines the patient’s behaviour. For instance, if you are suffering from depression and has a problem getting out of your bed, then it is a behavioural activation as seen by the psychologist. Psychologists will also track your sleep patterns, negative thoughts and eating patterns that could cause or contribute to the problem.

Psychiatrists understand biology as well as neurochemistry better. Therefore, they tend to adopt a method of diagnoses by exclusion. For example, before calling someone as depressed, they ensure that a vitamin deficiency or thyroid problem is not the underlying cause of the problem. Once the diagnosis is done, psychiatrists can prescribe appropriate medicine to alleviate your problem.

Who should you see?

Generally, your health insurance covers both psychologists and psychiatrists and with regard to patients making out of pocket payment, often times a sliding scale is employed.

A potential advantage of consulting a psychiatrist is that being a medical doctor, she/he also has the training and knowledge to explore the underlying medical issues or drug-related issues that could trigger behavioural or emotional symptoms. When needed psychiatrists can more readily work with your GP or other primary care provider or even specialists. As a medical professional, psychiatrists are trained in multiple settings like outpatient, paediatrics, and emergency room and thus are comfortable with the language in any part of the hospital.

In serious types of mental health issues like bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia with severe physical symptoms, basic care is challenging for the affected individual and a psychiatrist generally has the formal training and knowledge about the line of treatment to be adopted.

In instances where the problem is less severe, your personal preferences come into focus on the choice between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Many people may have reservations about medication and may be afraid that they would get addicted to medicine or that it could impact their body chemistry. Under these conditions, it is more likely that the individual would opt to see a psychologist before exploring other options. In other words, the type of problem would be the guiding force to choose the professional who can help alleviate the problem. Amplifying this, someone with a phobia could benefit from therapy administered by a psychologist while a psychiatrist could be a better choice to address issues related to clinical depression.

Usually, when a psychologist is treating an individual, who in his opinion has severe symptoms like suicidal tendency or irrational thoughts, he may suggest a consultation with a psychiatrist for clarity in the diagnosis and possible prescription for medicines.
Importance of timely help.

In all instances of mental health issues or even suspected mental health problem, it is essential that you get help at the earliest possible opportunity. If for any reason, you continue to be confused on whether you should see a psychologist or a psychiatrist, the best person to guide you is your GP

Taking your GP into confidence

Generally, the GP is a person well versed in you and your health. Therefore, by taking your GP into confidence you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. The focus should be to avoid procrastination since some problems can potentially aggravate over time, making it, even more, overwhelming for you.

Talk to someone you love for support and guidance

Still not sure which way to go? Speak to your family elders, your partner, or someone with whom you can confidently share your problem. This way, you would have taken a load off your mind, and your confidante will come up with a solution sooner, than later.

Remember that strong relationships built on confidentiality and trust form the foundation of both psychiatry and psychology. Once you have made up your mind on the type of doctor you should see, it is likely that you would be seeing more than one doctor before making up your mind on who fits your needs best.