As of this January, I have been a patient of Dr. Spencer for four years.
*As a caveat, I see doctors for other health issues and I realize each person's experience is different with a particular doctor. I am not arguing that, I'm simply noting the experience I've had.*
When I began seeing him, I had actually spent two years with a psychiatrist that had overmedicated me. Dr. Spencer helped fix my medicine.
Before you even see Dr. Spencer you fill out what seem to be a mountain of forms. But, in those forms you get to explain in whatever terms you'd like your problems, as you see them. You get to explain about your family, your current life, etc. Dr. Spencer requests that you send in those forms prior to your visit, which means that even before you get there- he knows some about your life and your areas of concern.
Dr. Spencer is not a doctor that's going to give you a hug as you walk in the door, but he has always been friendly and kind. Dr. Spencer nods his head a lot and is constantly jotting things down- it's not really un-personable when you realize at your next visit that he can tell you every detail of your last visit. I've been depressed, crying, angry and even slightly manic and he's always treated me kindly and with respect. When I've been doing well and have been excited, Dr. Spencer has noticeably shared that excitement.
When you're there, you review your medicine and what's going on in your life. You can tell him what's working, what's not working, triggers or bring a friend/relative/spouse with you to explain your recent activities or behavior.
If I've had to change medicines, we've always worked out how to step it down carefully. I also have other health problems that require medicine that may interact or conflict with the medicine I am prescribed. I am able to leave a message with Renee at the front and get a rapid (for a doctor that has a great deal of patients) response as to whether or not this medicine will work or a suggestion as to another possibility. Dr. Spencer's office has been terrific about working with my other doctors' offices.
The waiting room/reception situation is unusual- you walk in and basically sit down on a couch or chairs in front of you. There's a reception window, but you can usually just sit down (regular patient or new) and Renee (office administrator/receptionist) will ask for you to come up to see her if there are any pre-visit things to take care of.
When you leave, you go see Renee at the window and pay for your visit and schedule your next. Renee is great at what she does- she calls you to remind you of your appointments, takes care of medicine refills, reschedules, etc. She is also friendly when dealing with your mistakes.
When I have needed to change medicines, I have been frustrated because I have had to go in versus changing it just because I think it will work, only to realize that I go to Dr. Spencer because of choices he makes and his responsibility he feels for my health.