Q. What kind of mental health care do you offer?
A. I’m a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in psychiatry and psychopharmacology, the use of medications to help with problems affecting the mind. As such, I practice under a biological model of mental illness, and the evidence-based treatment of mental health disorders.
Q. Will you see me just for medications? I already have, or don’t feel like I need, a therapist.
A. Medication and psychotherapy are the two “pillars” of mental health treatment. Some patients prefer both, some one or the other. I can accommodate your specific requirements.
Q. Do you have video appointments?
A. Yes, all appointments are over video until further notice. At the scheduled time, you can start your video appointment by going to https://doxy.me/rpmd.
Q. Do you offer emergency services?
A. No. Our office replies to patient messages or phone calls within 1 business day. 24 hour emergency access to Dr. Palmer is not available. Patients who are having a medical or psychiatric emergency are encouraged to call 911, or the Access and Crisis Line at 888-724-7240.
Q. Do you see children and adolescents? Geriatric patients?
A. I only see patients 18 years of age and older. There’s no upper age limit to the patients I treat, however, for very complex cases, I may refer to a geropsychiatric specialist.
Q. Do you take my insurance? Will my insurance cover you as an out-of-network provider?
A. A general list of insurance plans I can accept is on the main page, but please contact your insurance company to confirm coverage. Please do not contact our office with questions about insurance coverage. If I don’t accept your insurance, I can provide documentation of services I provide (“a superbill”) that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Ultimately, the patient is directly responsible for any fees not reimbursed by their insurance plan.
Q. Are you accepting new patients?
A. Yes, please contact us to schedule.
Q. Do you have evening or weekend office hours?
A. Appointment times range from Monday – Friday, 1pm to 4:30pm. I work at a hospital in the mornings, and I’m not available for appointments then.
Q. Can you recommend someone else? I need a psychiatrist who takes my insurance/specializes in a specific area/has openings.
A. The San Diego Psychiatric Society has a list of psychiatrists in the area. Your insurance company can also provide referrals. Psychology Today and ZocDoc are two websites that help find doctors in your area.
Q. I am not in the San Diego area. Can I work with you via Skype or phone?
A. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am seeing all patients only by telepsychiatry (video visit). For now, I can only see patients who reside in the San Diego area. I do not do telephone appointments.
Q. Do you see couples? Families?
A: I’m not trained in couples or family therapy, so there are better options than me. I may see individual family members at separate appointments.
Q. Do you work from a particular spiritual or religious perspective?
A. Religion and spirituality inform one’s goals and values, which are essential elements of constructing the best treatment plan. I generally consider religious or spiritual practice to be a protective factor for one’s mental health. I don’t recommend any specific practice for my patients.
Q. Are you friendly to LGBT patients and issues?
A. Yes. I will treat your sexual orientation, identity, or LGBT specific issue with sensitivity.
Q. Will you diagnose me with ADHD? I feel I could benefit from taking medication to help my concentration and focus.
A. I do treat ADHD, but I require documentation of neurocognitive testing with a psychologist before I can treat ADHD or prescribe medications. If you don’t have documentation, I can provide a referral for a psychologist who can do testing:
- Alexa Rabin, PsyD: 619-796-1358
- Carrie Jaffe, PhD: 858-956-9689
- Joanna Savarese, PhD: 858-752-4396
Q. I don’t want to see a doctor, will you just write me a prescription for … ?
A. No, it’s not ethical for me to prescribe medication to a patient I haven’t clinically evaluated.