Scheduling Appointments

The biggest office challenge for me, families, and my secretary is making sure we use the appointment slots efficiently. There are very few Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists in Nova Scotia and many severely ill youth.  How can we all do this?

Minimizing cancellations and no-shows

Everyone has to cancel appointments at times and everyone can forget they had an appointment.

What you can do

  • Don’t book appointments on days or times that are extremely difficult to make because of distance or other commitments.

  • Always let us know as early as possible that you are not coming so we can use the slot for someone else. You can email or call.

What we can do

  • If at all possible, let you know about your appointment by email the day before so you can confirm it.

  • If we can’t use email, have a phone number that has an working answering service attached to it.

  • Let you know far ahead if we have to reschedule.

  • Keep a list of people looking for a cancellation slot.

Setting up first appointments
Before I can see a child, a number of steps have to take place.

  • The child has to be under 18. I will sometimes follow people for a while after age 18, depending on the problems, but it makes more sense to send people who are just about 18 to the adult psychiatrists.

  • Get a referral from another doctor or nurse practitioner. I don’t see people who are not referred.

  • Fill out a questionnaire and other forms I might need.  (This helps me figure out how long I should see the child for, what I will need, and what sort of help we might need during the appointment)

  • Make sure the legal guardian (s) are consenting.

  • I can’t see anyone unless all the guardians okay it.

  • Make sure we have a way we can reach you reliably.

  • If you don’t have a phone or an email that you can check throughout the day, it probably won’t work to see the child.

  • You live within reasonable driving distance. If it takes longer than 2-3 hours to get to Yarmouth, it will be pretty difficult to provide care over time.