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sportyrichmd

Is it safe to see a psychologist with school healthcare?

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48 minutes ago, sportyrichmd said:

It will be a psychologist not associated with the school (better safe than sorry), but I would like to use the coverage from my school. Is that still safe?

your health records are definitely protected by confidentiality so I really don't think there's any potential for problem there. Also the coverage is provided by a third party (Green shield for Ottawa I believe) so there's no way the school would know about it without your consent.

It's more likely (but marginally so) if you go through Student Affairs to look for help. But this is all strictly protected by confidentiality (same with if you were to contract an STI for example) - we're expected to uphold that with patients and I think we can expect the same from the school.

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It depends what you mean by "safe".  Your confidentiality should be kept either way, whether it's associated with your school or not - but certainly you have more privacy seeing someone not on campus - less risk of e.g. running into another student in the waiting room.

However if what you're asking is about licensing, then you're the one who has to answer any questions on the licensing application about past diagnoses - so it doesn't matter where you were seen, because you are expected to answer the question honestly no matter where your records are.  However, mostly they ask about medical conditions with the potential to impact your ability to practice medicine, so most people who seek counselling can get away with saying no.

However, you may want to make sure your disability insurance and any other insurance policies are squared away first, because some do ask if you've ever sought counselling, and you don't want to be lying on your insurance applications.  

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You might also want to look into the College mandatory reporting rules for use of mental health services. The stigma against physicians seeking out mental health help is not right but it is definitely prevalent for a reason. Just know what the possible downstream effects might be in order to protect yourself.

I hope you get the help you need my friend :) 

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On 8/19/2020 at 5:18 PM, ellorie said:

It depends what you mean by "safe".  Your confidentiality should be kept either way, whether it's associated with your school or not - but certainly you have more privacy seeing someone not on campus - less risk of e.g. running into another student in the waiting room.

However if what you're asking is about licensing, then you're the one who has to answer any questions on the licensing application about past diagnoses - so it doesn't matter where you were seen, because you are expected to answer the question honestly no matter where your records are.  However, mostly they ask about medical conditions with the potential to impact your ability to practice medicine, so most people who seek counselling can get away with saying no.

However, you may want to make sure your disability insurance and any other insurance policies are squared away first, because some do ask if you've ever sought counselling, and you don't want to be lying on your insurance applications.  

I've already had counselling before so sounds like I'm shit out of luck? :/

By 'safe' I mean negatively looked at in my future. For example, I did not know about them asking about medical conditions for licensing.

I've never been diagnosed, and I only wanted to go this time just to talk about the big transition to medical school. Imo counselling is hugely helpful even for 'normal' everyday people just to get some professional outside perspectives on their lives, but it will be disappointing if I don't get to have that option anymore

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Just now, sportyrichmd said:

I've already had counselling before so sounds like I'm shit out of luck? :/

By 'safe' I mean negatively looked at in my future. For example, I did not know about them asking about medical conditions for licensing.

I've never been diagnosed, and I only wanted to go this time just to talk about the big transition to medical school. Imo counselling is hugely helpful even for 'normal' everyday people just to get some professional outside perspectives on their lives, but it will be disappointing if I don't get to have that option anymore

Having a professional therapist (or counsellor) to talk through things with (a lot is going on right now, let alone med school transition) is definitely not something you have to disclose when it comes to licensing.

More serious conditions that may cloud your judgment like substance abuse, bipolar, schizophrenia or MDD should be.

But it's normal and even encouraged (increasingly so anyway) in the medical community to seek help and have a support system. Some people are lucky to have lots of support from their social circle, some don't. So I think you should be fine! I, for one, want to start seeing a psychologist of some sort too if I get the time/chance. 

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1 minute ago, DrOtter said:

Having a professional therapist (or counsellor) to talk through things with (a lot is going on right now, let alone med school transition) is definitely not something you have to disclose when it comes to licensing.

More serious conditions that may cloud your judgment like substance abuse, bipolar, schizophrenia or MDD should be.

But it's normal and even encouraged (increasingly so anyway) in the medical community to seek help and have a support system. Some people are lucky to have lots of support from their social circle, some don't. So I think you should be fine! I, for one, want to start seeing a psychologist of some sort too if I get the time/chance. 

So you're saying... book the appointment :D 

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1 minute ago, sportyrichmd said:

So you're saying... book the appointment :D 

I'd say yes! If anything, it will just be an initial screening consultation. 

But also consult the official policy. 

Honestly though, having psychological struggle and not dealing with it is infinitely more egregious than actively managing it with help.

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