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Hospital Care

Dr. Rustagi participates in inpatient care as an attending psychiatrist at Parkview hospital and Parkview Behavioral health (PBH). PBH is primarily a psychiatric hospital serving all age groups over age 3 years. If you have a child at PBH or your adult family member authorizes your involvement in their care at PBH, you may contact Dr. Rustagi at our office. You may also call our office to arrange a meeting time at the hospital.

How is a Psychiatrist different from a Psychologist?

A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor specializing in mental, emotional and behavioral illness who may prescribe medications and conduct psychotherapy. Psychiatrists evaluate patients from a biopsychosocial perspective before prescribing treatment. In the United States, psychiatrists are board certified as specialists in their field. After completing four years of medical school, physicians will practice as psychiatry residents for four years. After completing their training, psychiatrists take written and then oral board examinations before becoming board certified. In contrast, Psychology is the broader study of human behaviour and thought processes, not just in the context of mental health. Clinical Psychologists specialize in mental health and have extensive training in psychotherapy and psychological testing. Psychologists are generally not allowed to prescribe medications in the United States.

Who can perform psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a treatment limited mostly to conversation. Practitioners do not have to be medically qualified. In the United States, however, psychotherapists must be trained, certified and licensed with a range of different licensing schemes and qualification requirements. Psychotherapists may be psychologists, social workers, trained nurses, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, or professionals of other mental health disciplines. Psychiatrists' training focuses on the medical aspects of psychiatric illness along with training in psychotherapy. Psychologists have special training in mental health assessment and research in addition to psychotherapy. Social workers have special training in linking patients to community and institutional resources in addition to psychotherapy.

How is psychiatric illness diagnosed? Are there blood tests or brain scans to prove diagnosis?

Psychiatric diagnosis is more subtle and intangible than diagnosis in other branches of medicine because it is harder to measure feelings and thoughts in the same way as a lump, body temperature or blood glucose. Moreover, mind is a complex and adaptive self-organizing system and does not easily reveal its complex working. At this time most Psychiatric diagnosis is clinical without blood test or brain scan validation. It is important in making Psychiatric diagnosis, however to rule out physical causes of psychiatric symptoms.

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