Frequently Asked Questions

What is a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in neurobiological and psychosocial conditions affecting the mood, emotions and cognition. A psychiatrist completes medical school, followed by four additional years of training in a psychiatric residency that includes additional training in areas such as primary care medicine, neurology, endocrinology, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and substance abuse.

How is psychiatric treatment different from counseling?

Psychiatric practice has evolved into a specialized area of Medicine that focuses upon the “whole body” impact of mood, anxiety and neurological conditions. These “whole body” impacts include disturbances in cardiovascular, neurological and immunological responses that have been recently identified to occur with long-term depressive or anxiety conditions. Although psychiatrists are trained in psychotherapy and counseling, the needs of a psychiatrist’s community often determine the treatment focus of the practice. At Mind-Body Medicine, treatment is focused upon the medical aspects of an individual’s emotional and cognitive functioning by recommending medication treatment to optimize functioning. Patients are referred to various therapists in their community for psychotherapy and counseling.

How long will I be in the office for my initial appointment?

During the first appointment, your current symptoms and medical, personal and family histories will be reviewed and treatment options will be discussed over the course of approximately 60 to 90 minutes with a nurse practitioner (for an urgent new patient appointment) or Jay Fawver, MD (for a diagnostic assessment).  Based upon this assessment, treatment options are directed toward your individual goals.

Why will I occasionally see an advanced practice nurse, but not Dr. Fawver, during each visit?

Our clinic staff works as a coordinated team to efficiently meet the needs of our patients in a timely manner. Using the electronic medical record, Dr. Fawver is able to supervise and oversee the treatment of the advanced practice nurses at the time of the visit if necessary.

Can the clinic provide psychotherapy or counseling?

Our practice approach focuses on the neurobiological treatment of psychiatric conditions. We believe that psychotherapy and counseling are extremely useful treatment approaches, but to be available and accessible to our patients, we refer individuals for psychotherapy to therapists in their communities based upon their needs and wishes.

Does the clinic order blood tests or brain scans to determine a diagnosis?

Blood tests and brain scans will thoughtfully be ordered specifically if they will be helpful in determining a diagnosis and influencing the treatment direction. We recognize that such blood tests and imaging studies can be very financially costly, and we order these tests judiciously based upon the potential benefits to the patient.

How can a psychiatric diagnosis be determined just by my answering questions?

Our clinic's psychiatric examination that has been customized in the electronic medical record is based upon a standardized research assessment tool called the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.). This tool was developed jointly by psychiatrists and clinicians in the United States and Europe for DSM-IV and ICD-10 psychiatric disorders and is commonly used in research settings to accurately determine the diagnosis for potential candidates for research studies. The M.I.N.I. was designed to meet the need for an accurate and structured psychiatric interview for multicenter clinical trials and epidemiology studies. Dr. Fawver used the model of the M.I.N.I as a template and extensively revised this assessment tool for the use in his clinical practice. The electronic medical record is updated on a regular basis based upon new research findings and developing trends in the field of Psychiatry.

Why can't my medication adjustments be managed over the phone instead of having to come to the office?

Medication reviews at our office are scheduled for the purpose of collecting not only current symptoms, but also to follow blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and general demeanor.  Additionally, a past history of treatment responses and side effects are systematically evaluated during the appointment. When medication changes are made, samples of medication are provided as available and a printed treatment instruction sheet is distributed. Obviously, this level of service cannot be provided by a phone call.