One should always get a complete physical before taking any mood-altering drug if diagnosed for depression, bipolar disease, ADHD or similar so-called diseases. Insist on a thorough examination. Most doctors in the US and Canada are paid a certain amount of money per visit. They are generally allowed a very short time to do their diagnosis. Because of this, many cannot afford the time to do a proper investigation into your symptoms and will often prescribe a drug such as Prozac or Zoloft or such that handles the symptoms and masks the real cause of the problem.
The other problem that doctors often run into is that patients come in to their offices asking for a drug that they have seen advertised on TV. More often than not the doctor knows very little about the drug and they have been known to hand out a prescription without proper research of their own. Again, given the limited time allowed a doctor by an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization – Group Health), they rarely are able to get enough information to properly diagnose.
In the US and Canada there are licensing boards that are supposed to oversee the quality of care. In Canada, there is not much useful information as to whether a doctor is ethical or not. They tend to protect their own. There is a bit more information on the websites of the licensing boards in the US where each state has its own. Here you can often find out if a doctor has be sued for malpractice or whether he or she has been disciplined and other information.
We suggest that when searching for a doctor, ask your friends or at a local health food store. This will probably be more effective than checking the above sources. Look for one that will take the time to help you find the real problem for you or your family. Getting the proper diagnosis should result in one feeling better, being more energetic and more productive. If one is more productive, well, it snowballs, one will always feel better when they are more productive.