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“How Long Can I Spend with Patients?”

Written By: Lauren Howard

"How long can I spend with patients?"

A psychiatrist I was interviewing sort of sheepishly asked me that a few days ago. 

Like he was waiting to be admonished or scoffed at. 

Like he was waiting for the speech about the minimum number of patients he has to see in a day in order to be productive enough to earn his keep. 

My heart sunk a little, not because he was asking me and the answer was bad, but because he had to ask.

"It takes as long as it takes," was all I said.

He exhaled so loudly when I said it. I don't even know that he realized that he did it. I'm certain that he has worked at platforms where an initial eval has to be 15 minutes or less and he is graded on the number of patients he can turn over in an hour and just write the medicine and shut up. 

Nah, bruh. 

We can't and won't practice that way. 

Offering accessible care that has to be done at the speed of an Indy car is not fixing any of the gaping problems in our mental healthcare system. 

It takes as long as it takes. 

Will that make it more complicated to keep the lights on? You betcha. 

That's my problem, not his. 

We pay our clinicians fairly for their time and give them the time they need to do their jobs. 

It's not innovative, but it is novel. 


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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