Dr Hedaya has been my psychiatrist and psych-endocrinologist since 1983. I grew up very smart, but with psych “issues.” From my teens until my late 30s, recurrent crises sent me to a number of therapists and psychiatrists, including ones associated with two well-known teaching hospitals. They were treating me for depression and other issues. Going back to therapy at my wife’s urging at age 38, the new MSW therapist immediately referred me to Hedaya. After a battery of tests, some standard and insurance-covered and others neither, he diagnosed me as bipolar, ADD, and other lesser conditions. No other doc had come up with this, and they were prescribing antidepressants that not only don’t work for bipolar, but usually make it worse.
He explained to me the problematic biochemical processes that I was experiencing, their probable causes and and their mental health consequences. He is more of a teacher than a talk therapist, which for me was extremely helpful. I already had a less expensive MSW therapist to talk to.
He has always had me on a lot of pills and supplements, for the psych conditions and to deal with damage that already occurred to my thyroid, adrenals, and pancreas. And other supplements that would promote good enough cell function to enable them to absorb the main meds. The number of pills is very hard to deal with, and freaks out other mainstream docs, like my cardiologist and my gastro-enterologist.
Under Dr Hedaya’s care, I became a very successful leader in my profession, won big grants, wrote books, became a successful administrator. My teenage bride and I have been married for almost 50 years, and we have three successful middle-aged children. Without him, I don’t think I would have lived that long, let alone had the success that I did.
Now retired thirty years later, I had accumulated so many docs doing their own thing, and so many medical issues (heart, brain injury, arthritis, etc) that I felt I needed to get it all checked out by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The essence of their evaluation: my cardiologist came close to killing me, my orthopedist was making really bad recommendations, my gastroenterologist and my neurologist were doing the right things, and my psychiatrist was god’s gift to medicine. The psychiatrists at Mayo were extremely impressed about whatever it was they saw in those many years worth of medical records.
So, like anyone reading this who is considering Dr Hedaya, I have to weigh two factors.
One, there is the high cost and incredible hassle of the mismatch between Dr Hedaya’s functional med approach and the insurance companys’ standardized cost-saving (to them) rules enforced by low-level, underpaid and overworked administrators. Dr Hedaya, I think, hates the whole system and has as little to do with it as possible, which costs his patients (or more likely, their care-taking family members) time, trouble and money.
Two, there is just nobody else out there who can do as well at treating people with complex mental health problems involving more than one diagnosis, or deal as well with illnesses that are not yet well-enough understood to create a “standard of care” that any good doc can follow.
He’s expensive, but if you need him, TINA (There Is No Alternative).
Ken K Dewes MD
Dr. Hedaya has been extremely helpful to me. I was sick for a year and a half and did not know what I had. His thorough testing discovered that I had Lyme disease and Babesia, another tick borne illness. He also found that I had low thyroid. He never gives up ok finding a solution to one’s health problems. I would highly recommend Dr. Hedaya.
Karen G. Henrico, VA
I have been a patient of dr. hedaya for over 4 years now. I have read the other reviews and the difficulty people say they have had with him and his practice. I can’t speak to those experiences, I can only share mine. yes, he is VERY expensive. only some of my insurance covers just a tiny bit of it. if I did not have my family support I would not be able to see him. yes, it is unfair that healthcare is so expensive, that the holistic docs don’t take insurance, etc etc.
I was told when i first made that call to hedaya about the costs. we went in accepting this. A few things we opted out of, but most we did. because I do have insurance, he sent me to quest for lab tests that would be covered. The special ones he did in the office. He is always sensitive to our budget and what can be done with insurance coverage. He never pushes us to get expensive tests. He always explains why he thinks they would help. But it is me that is in control of my health, and he respects that. He knows that I show up as this being a team effort, and we work together to find the best solutions for my ongoing problems. I’m clear that without him I would not be as healthy as I am today from 4 years ago.
His bedside manor is fabulous. he is kind, gentle, incredibly smart. he takes the time to explain what i need to understand what is going on in my body. he cares. he will send me an email sometimes saying ‘i just read in a journal that new studies show blank is helping blank, do you want to try it’. i mean, how often do you get a note from your doc like that. he knows so very much, yet he is very humble. he will take solutions as far as he can and he’s not afraid to say ‘we have passed my area of expertise, please go see a blank doc to help us move further.’
he is an amazing diagnostician. He will look at lab results that another doc would say is perfect because all numbers are in the ‘normal’ range. But Hedaya will put them together in ways that say to him, even though these are in ‘normal’ range, further testing is needed in this direction cause he is overly cautious and does not want to miss anything. This habit of his has caught many helpful things in me that lead to better treatment and feeling better.
Going to Dr. Hedaya is usually a choice people make as their last hope… illness has gotten so bad. And if it has gotten so bad over so long, than it will take just as long to get better. That is one of the hardest things for me cause I just want to be free of illness, but he is always in my corner showing me the numbers and that I am getting better. I do not feel alone. People don’t realize that you have to walk thru hell to get to the other side, as with many things in life. So yeah, the first year and a half was hell, but not cause of Hedaya, cause of my body detoxing and starting the healing. I never once doubted leaving him.
I could go on and on about how happy I am that I found him in a very desperate time in my life. How grateful I am for his knowledge and caring. How much I appreciate his support and out of the box thinking. How good I feel about him trusting me, and that my instinct about a certain healing direction is of value in making a choice to him. How he has come to understand my thought process and my body functioning. How he knows that I may need extra explaining on a topic, and that my body is super sensitive and he treats it accordingly. How I appreciate how available he is with the 2pm call in time, the emails and emergency calls at times. I could go on and on!
thanks doc :). and thanks to his awesome office team!
R T. Burke, VA
Dr. Hedaya is the best doctor I have ever seen. Yes, there are tons of labs and tests in the first appointment, and they are expensive, but they are very upfront about the costs beforehand. He spent an entire day with me, conducting a thorough health history, a number of tests and trying to get a clear picture of my life overall. I found him to be highly intelligent and intuitive. He insisted upon some universally accepted lifestyle changes (sleep more, eat better, exercise regularly, cut out caffeine and alcohol, etc.) and ultimately recommended some solutions that were cheaper than continuing to see him on a monthly basis. It has been a couple of years since my last visit with him and I still refer back to his advice and the results of some of the lab tests.
Kate P. Washington, DC