What is a Psychiatric Assessment?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with five years of specialized training in mental health and addictions.
Psychiatrists conduct psychiatric assessments by conducting a clinical interview that focuses on areas such as medical history, medication history, family history, personal history, and functional history. In addition, some psychiatrists will use psychometric scales or questionnaires to help inform their assessment. Sometimes collateral history is also obtained from medical records, family members or others that are closely involved in an individual’s life. Finally, a psychiatrist will conduct a Mental Status Examination, which is informed by a psychiatrist’s observations during the clinical interview.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) contains criteria for various mental health and addiction diagnoses, which psychiatrists will consider upon completing their comprehensive assessment. Common diagnoses encountered during the independent medical assessment include Major Depressive Disorder, Adjustment Disorder, Somatic Symptom Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Use Disorder, Neurocognitive Disorder, and Specific Phobia.
Psychiatrists have to also ensure there are no medical conditions that could be contributing to or causing an individual’s mental health symptoms. To accomplish this, psychiatrist’s may refer patients to other specialists and/or order investigations.
Psychiatrists sometimes also rely on psychologists and neuropsychologists to conduct objective testing to help further inform their diagnoses. This is often the case for personality disorder testing, cognitive testing, and validity testing.
PsycIME rosters evidenced-based practicing psychiatrists that conduct comprehensive psychiatric assessments.