When choosing a psychiatrist, patients can request a referral from a primary health care provider or request a provider list from a health insurance provider, according to WebMD. It may be helpful to ask family members, clergy or trusted friends about any experience they may have with local psychiatrists.
A national or local medical society or mental health organization may be able to recommend a psychiatrist, notes WebMD. It is a good idea to find out about a potential psychiatrist's licensure, education and how long he has practiced psychiatry. The patient may also wish to discuss treatment approach and philosophy to ensure compatibility, and the patient should also consider logistic details such as office hours, location and the psychiatrist's availability during an emergency situation.