Today, seeking help for mental health issues can seem like an extreme sport with all the scheduling conflicts, long waiting times, and general stress that come with it. However, concierge psychiatry is a new practice that offers people support from the comforts of their own home and through mobile communication.
Dr. Brook Choulet is a concierge psychiatrist located in Scottsdale, Arizona. She graduated from a 6-year BA/MD program in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Arizona to complete her psychiatry training. Dr. Choulet decided to open her own practice in Scottsdale, Choulet Wellness, after being inspired by her mother, Dr. Donna Kashani, who is a concierge psychiatrist in San Diego. Choulet Wellness is the only concierge psychiatric practice available in the city.
“I think what makes this practice so unique is that it’s like having an all-access pass to your doctor,” said Choulet.
Unlike traditional psychiatry, concierge psychiatry offers a more personalized experience for patients. Patients can get in touch with their doctor in a more personalized manner, instead of having to make an appointment and wait several days to finally speak with their doctor. Given the concierge approach, Dr. Choulet takes all her own calls, eliminating the frustrations of having to go through phone trees and long wait times.
With the recent shift to telemedicine-focused care, patients are always seeking out services that they can use remotely. “My clients have access to my business cell phone number, email address, and can reach me using the patient portal,” said Dr. Choulet. “This is especially useful for people who are going through difficult life stressors and just need someone to be there to guide them through it.”
With the onset of COVID-19, concierge psychiatry has played a huge role in helping people with differing mental health conditions.
“In the last year, because of COVID-19, people were not able to go about their normal routines and were often working from home while their kids were in online school in the next room,” said Dr. Choulet. “I certainly think because of newly-added stressors, there has been an uptick in mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, even in those who did not have mental health concerns before.”
With the sharp increase in people seeking out mental health treatment in the past year, it is no surprise that the demand for concierge psychiatry has also seen a dramatic increase.
“This type of access to care tends to attract many high functioning professionals including physicians, lawyers, and professional athletes, as well as the motivated and driven teens with busy schedules to maneuver,” said Dr. Choulet. “These clients want a more personalized level of service with options to maintain anonymity, such as house-calls and after hour visits. Traditional psychiatry clinics do not offer these types of services.”
Dr. Brook Choulet plans to expand her practice into a large wellness center in Paradise Valley this October.
“I am excited to be able to offer my clients a wellness center where they can come for not only their psychiatric needs, but also to take care of themselves mentally and physically,” said Dr. Choulet.
The first part of this expansion was the recent addition of Certified Nutrition Coach, Cheyenne Klein, to the Choulet Wellness team. “I think food can have a large impact on both mental and physical health. There are several other services that will be offered at the Paradise Valley wellness center,” Dr. Choulet says. “My hope is that these additional services will continue to promote mental health and overall well-being.”