Skip to content


Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

*No Dr Outside Contact Please*
Includes Expert Content
Dr. G - diagnosis
ddnos posted:
Hi Dr. G.

A question someone else just had made me think of this - I'm sure the answer varies, but typically, how long does it take for a good, trained Psychiatrist to evaluate a new patient and come up with a diagnosis? How long, meaning, approx how many appointments does it generally take? Is it true that a psychiatrist could have a diagnosis in just one, 1-hr appointment?

Thank you
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear Debbie,

Certainly depends an varies greatly on the patient, symptoms, and complexity. Florid mania takes about 5 seconds to diagnose. In someone whose presentation is not so straightforward, if there is a lot of history to cover and past treatments and outcomes and complexity, I myself typically spend a minimum of 90 minutes and often more than that, sometimes involving signficant others to provide additional information and review past records or speak with previous treaters.

I would say that a standard intial evaluation usually is about an hour but sometimes one or two or more follow-ups are wise to help clear up uncertainties.

Dr. G.

Featuring Experts

Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

Helpful Tips

Differentiating bipolar disorder from borderline personality disorderExpert
Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people can very easily become angry and upset in response to stresses -- especially ... More
Was this Helpful?
114 of 131 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.