Depression – Telehealth with Dr. Peter Forster
Dr. Forster is a board-certified San Francisco psychiatrist who uses the latest treatment research on depression, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mood disorders in his practice, which is part of the Mood Disorder Clinic at Gateway Psychiatric.
He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, where he has taught hundreds of medical students, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners about the treatment of bipolar disorder. He is an Attending Psychiatrist in the UCSF Bipolar Clinic, where he supervises psychiatric residents.
The Mood Disorder Clinic was founded to provide the most effective treatments to people with bipolar disorder and depression. In addition to Dr. Forster, there are trained psychotherapists as well as dieticians, yoga practitioners, and other clinicians. The goal is to provide integrated and holistic treatment.
“I believe that too many people who are wrestling with depression, or bipolar, or other mood disorders, find themselves confused by what they need to do in order to feel well, or they get stuck with less than adequate treatment, or they feel ashamed, or embarrassed about the very real problems they are dealing with.“
Peter Forster, MD
What is Telepsychiatry?
“Telepsychiatry is the application of telemedicine to the specialty field of psychiatry. The term typically describes the delivery of psychiatric assessment and care through telecommunications technology, usually videoconferencing.” — Wikipedia
Dr. Forster has been providing telepsychiatry to his patients for 10 years. Telepsychiatry works well for people looking for a single-visit consultation, and for people looking for a second opinion. Dr. Forster also consults with primary physicians and other mental healthcare providers.
This type of session is not for everyone. For example, if you are looking for a prescription, it is against federal law to prescribe controlled substances (like anti-anxiety medications or stimulants) solely based on a telepsychiatry assessment.
For more information,
For new patients there are a few things to consider –
- Most patients will either need to have at least one in-person visit with Dr. Forster per year or will need to have a primary care physician willing to collaborate with Dr. Forster.
- It is against federal law to prescribe controlled substances (for example, anti-anxiety medications like Ativan sleep medications like Ambien, or stimulants such as Adderall) based on only a telehealth assessment.
- You will need to fill out an online survey.
- You will need to use an up to date web browser (other than Internet Explorer) in order to access our HIPAA compliant telehealth service.
- You will need a computer or smartphone that has a high speed internet connection and a webcam.
- If you need special assistance with preparing for your first visit we can do that for a small charge for staff time.
- For more information about our current telehealth platform, Google Hangouts Meet, please read this page.
- Telehealth is not a good option for people with complex problems involving both medical and psychiatric conditions or people who are in a crisis.
- Telehealth sessions with Dr. Forster are generally only available early in the morning on Saturdays and some weekdays.
- We are now offering single visit consultations and second opinion visits which may be an appropriate way to begin. For more information please read this page.