FAQ

Sharmat Caron Award 2016

Dr. Samuel L. Sharmat, recipient of the 2016 Caron Medical Professional Award

Frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between psychiatry and psychology?
What will happen during my first appointment?
Do you accept insurance?
What are your office hours?
Do you think everyone needs medication?
Do you prescribe Suboxone or Vivitrol?
How often will I need to see you?
What if I have an emergency or urgent situation come up?
Do you provide talk therapy as well?
How long does psychiatric treatment usually take?
What if I want to go off of my medication?
What ages of patients do you treat?
Will my treatment be kept confidential?
Do you have a discreet entrance?
Are you Board-Certified?
How often do you update your learning?


What is the difference between psychiatry and psychology?

Psychiatry is the treatment of mental health issues by a medical doctor and Psychology is the treatment of mental health issues by a PhD or PsyD.

Psychiatrists begin their careers in medical school. After earning their MD, they go on to four years of residency training in mental health, typically at a hospital’s psychiatric department. Many then go on to do specialized training in an area of interest — this is called a Fellowship and may be one or two years working with a specific population (for example, children or the elderly).

After completing their residency, these physicians can be licensed to practice psychiatry.

Psychologists go through five to seven years of academic graduate study, culminating in a doctorate degree. They may hold a PhD (more research oriented) or a PsyD (more clinically oriented).

Licensing requirements for psychologists vary from state to state, but at least a one- or two-year internship is required to apply for a license to practice psychology.

What will happen during my first appointment?

During your first appointment, Dr. Sharmat will briefly gather some basic information from you and then begin his comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. This process covers all areas of your life and takes around two hours. An additional session may be required if your history is extensive or if a slower pace is required for the interview. If you have not already had it done, Dr. Sharmat will also offer to send off a gene panel to look for underlying brain chemistry issues and issues with medication compatibility. The team will then review the information and come up with a treatment plan that is comprehensive and makes good sense.

Do you accept insurance?

Unfortunately, insurance/Medicare/Medicaid do not cover comprehensive sessions, so Sharmat Psychiatric Group is not on any panels. However, our Office Manager is happy to prepare a “superbill” for you, which is a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Plans with out-of-network benefits can reimburse from 30-70% of your cost.

What are your office hours?

Our office hours are: Monday 11:00-7:00*, Tuesday 11:00-9:00*, Wednesday 11:00-9:00*, Thursday 11:00-6:00*, Friday 8:30-1:30
*Please note that all new patient evaluations must end prior to 6 PM.

Do you think everyone needs medication?

Not at all. The source of a person’s issues can be situational, psychological, behavioral, or biological. One of the reasons why Dr. Sharmat’s evaluation is so comprehensive is to make sure that your issues are being addressed appropriately — and not just with medications.

Do you prescribe Suboxone or Vivitrol?

Yes. We are experienced with both Suboxone maintenance and detox and provide Vivitrol injections for both alcohol and opiate dependence.

How often will I need to see someone at your office?

Only as needed. When you first come and see Dr. Sharmat, you will be meeting us more often as your treatment plan is being created and put into action. But after that, we’ll meet once every three months — with in-between visits if your symptoms are changing or the treatment is changing.

What if I have an emergency or urgent situation come up?

During business hours, you can call the office to try to squeeze in an urgent visit. But if you can’t reach us, you will need to follow your emergency care plan — this involves identifying a hospital with a psychiatric team that you trust and either going there yourself or calling 911 to take you there. We do not have an after-hours service but have worked closely with teams at Mount Sinai Roosevelt, New York Presbyterian Cornell, Lenox Hill, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut.

Do you provide talk therapy as well?

While members of our treatment team are trained in psychotherapy as well as Psychiatry, our patients have had much better outcomes when they saw therapists separately from their psychiatrists. So, for our patients who want or need therapy, we suggest that they continue with their current therapist or we can provide them a recommendation for a therapist who is a good fit.

How long does psychiatric treatment usually take?

Depending on the cause of the issue, symptoms might come and go or might be chronic and lifelong. As a result, the length of treatment will vary based on each patient’s situation. There’s no set rule for this — each patient is different.

What if I want to go off of my medication?

Decreasing how much medication you take is one of our main goals. If you want to decrease or stop your medication, give us a call and we can talk about how best to do it and whether the timing is right.

What ages of patients do you treat?

Adolescents with emerging adult issues, adults, and elderly who are able to engage in a discussion about their mental health.

Will my treatment be kept confidential?

In New York State, confidentiality is highly protected. Here is a link to the regulations. The only way that we will ever release information is with your direct permission; and even then, we can only release the specific information that you allow.

Do you have a discreet entrance?

Our office is on a multi-use floor of a multi-use office building and so does not identify the purpose of your visit.

Is Dr. Sharmat Board-Certified?

Yes. By the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (the ABPN).

How often do you update your learning?

Throughout the year, all members of the team attend educational conferences and share their learning with the other team members. Dr. Sharmat attends and participates in a minimum of two major academic conferences per year.