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What is a Bariatric Psychologist To Do?

I'm confused?! What exactly do you want from a bariatric psychologist?


I've been doing psych evals for bariatric programs for over 20 years and I'm confused. What do surgeons and coordinators want from us?


Do you want the cheapest possible evaluation or a comprehensive evaluation? Do you want us to clear everyone or stop the pts that are not good candidates? I get mixed messages.


Surgeons tell me that they want thorough evals and they don't want me to clear pts that are not good candidates. Their coordinators say they want the cheapest option (when insurance does not cover the eval). Invariably, pts are sent to the cheapest psychologist, who clears all pts after a 5 minute interview. Then the programs complain that the psychologists are clearing pts that should not be cleared! More and more it's not even a psychologist that does the evaluation but someone who attended a weekend course and has a "certificate" to evaluate pts.


I'm very interested in your thoughts. How can we resolve this conundrum? Please comment below if you have an opinion on this matter.


At Northside Psychology we do comprehensive psychological evaluations to identify pts that are not good bariatric candidates. We also identify pts that want to drop out due to fear of surgery and work with them until they complete it. We try to accept all insurances but sometimes have to charge cash. Even though less than 5% or our pts pay cash we are placed at the bottom of the "list" because we charge more the $20. To make matters worse, the psychologist that pass everyone - the ones that everyone complains about - are never taken off the list!


We can only lower our cash price so much. Bariatric programs should seriously consider who they refer to. If you are not happy with a psychologist's work - let them know. If the problem persists take them off your list!

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