Second Opinions Q & A


Despite a doctor’s best intentions and efforts patients do not always achieve their goals or experience the progress and resolving of symptoms that they have hoped for. In these cases, Dr. Goldenberg is able to provide a “second opinion”. Dr. Matthew Goldenberg is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist who helps Santa Monica, CA area patients get the diagnosis treatment and care that they need and deserve.


by Matthew Goldenberg, D.O.

Why Would I Want a Second Opinion?

Some patients are ready for a fresh start. Others want to make sure their mediations and treatment plan is the best one for them. Sometimes patients feel they are on a different page than their current psychiatrist. In these cases, Dr. Goldenberg can provide a one-time comprehensive evaluation to help confirm, clarify and/or establish an accurate diagnosis or diagnoses. Patients come to Dr. Goldenberg and have no obligation to have additional follow up appointments. They may choose to continue with their current treatment provider or establish care with Dr. Goldenberg if that is their preference.

What is the Second Opinion Visit Like?

Dr. Goldenberg is a psychiatrist in Santa Monica, CA and the first visit to his office is likely a similar experience to other medical professionals that you may have seen in the past. Dr. Goldenberg begins the psychiatric evaluation by first discussing what brought his patient to the office, in other words, “what we will be working on together”. Next, Dr. Goldenberg asks the patient a series of questions that help him to get up to speed regarding his patient’s mental health, general health and family history etc. The initial appointment lasts between 50 and 60 minutes.

Can You Diagnosis Me in One Appointment?

Every patient is unique and comes with a history of different symptoms, life experiences, treatment failures, treatment successes and treatment options that have not been tried in the past. As an Addiction Psychiatrist, Dr. Goldenberg uses his knowledge of mental health and substance use disorders to help determine an accurate diagnosis or diagnoses. Even if a diagnosis seems obvious, Dr. Goldenberg always rules out other conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, psychosis, addiction and certain medical conditions, as these conditions influence which medications, and/or non-medication treatment options, that would be most suitable for his patient. In most cases, Dr. Goldenberg will have a good working diagnosis by the end of the initial session. Although, it can take several follow up sessions in some cases to further clarify the diagnosis.

How Does My Diagnosis Affect My Treatment Plan?

A patient’s treatment plan is based on many factors, including the severity of the symptoms, how much their condition is impacting their ability to function at work and/or home and their history of previous treatments. Additionally, every patient has preferences about taking medication, what types or medications and other treatments they would prefer and these are used to individualize their treatment plan. Dr. Goldenberg uses a wholistic, biological, psychological and social approach to customize his recommendations to each individual patient and their unique needs and goals.


Matthew Goldenberg, DO
2708 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone: 424-216-9906

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