Your child's first visit begins with a comprehensive evaluation:
- To get a clear understanding of what you are seeking
- To understand your situation
- To settle on a shared plan of action
Because we are an academic medical center, your visit may include meeting with:
- An advanced fellow in child psychiatry
- A medical student
- An allied mental health trainee
During the evaluation, your child is also seen by a Board Certified Attending in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Frequently asked questions
To help you prepare for your child's first appointment, please refer to the following FAQs.
How long do appointments take?
- New evaluations: 90 minutes
- Follow-up appointments: 45 minutes
We usually reserve some of the time to meet with the child without the parents in the room. Then, we meet with the parents without the child in the room. At the end, we meet with everyone in the room to finish the appointment.
How can I keep my child busy while waiting?
We recommend bringing your child's favorite small toys, books, or other items from home.
We are also happy to bring a toy into the room or waiting area for your child. Let us know what kind of toys your child likes to play with at home. If we have something similar, we are happy to bring that item in.
Is my child going to get a needle poke (shots, blood draw) today?
Usually, no. Sometimes we order blood laboratory tests as a part of the appointment. In that case, your child would go to the lab or to your local physician for the blood drawing.
Our nurse may take your child’s vital signs, such as height, weight, and blood pressure. You may wish to prepare your child for this ahead of time.
What if I can't afford the gas to get to my child's appointment?
Learn about the Fuel the Care program offered by Irving Oil and Dartmouth Health Children's.
Where can we go to get food?
Our ambulatory clinics provide food and snacks onsite or within walking distance. Ask us or feel free to call ahead if you need help finding food for the day of your appointment.
Can we bring snacks and drinks into exam rooms?
We allow food and drinks within reason for the comfort of your child. We recommend bringing transportable and cleanable foods and drinks.
Can I bring items from home such as toys and comfort items for my child?
Yes, you can! It is very helpful to bring items your child is familiar with and finds comforting.
This helps to ease any stress and decreases any anxiety your child may be feeling. Good items to bring are special blankets, stuffed animals, and favorite toys. Depending on the appointment, a favorite DVD or music with headphones can also be helpful.
What if my child has a history of having a hard time at the doctor's office?
Please don't hesitate to contact us before your scheduled appointment. We can develop a plan to help make the appointment more successful.