NIU psychiatrist quits, effective immediately

By Jermaine Pigee

DeKALB | A long-time NIU psychiatrist is calling it a career.

Dr. Diana Kraft is retiring today after 15 years as a psychiatrist for Health Services.

Decreased face time with her patients played a very large part in her decision to retire, Kraft said. On March 8, Kraft was notified by her supervisor that the time allotted for her to see patients would be reduced from 60 minutes for a new patient to 45 minutes, and 20 minutes for a return patient to 15 minutes. Incorporating paperwork and dictation, Kraft would only be allotted 30 minutes of face time for a new patient and 10 minutes for a return patient, she said.

“Had I not been given an ultimatum, I certainly would not have left so quickly,” Kraft said in regard to having her time with patients cut.

The alteration in the time she would have with patients would raise the number of patients she would meet on a daily basis from 18 return patients to 24. This change would be unfair not just to Kraft, but to her patients as well, she said.

“With that schedule, I did not feel that was fair to either me or my patients,” Kraft said. “I was told that the other schools in our consortium do the same. However, I was not willing to do that.”

The decision by Health Services to cut back on her appointment times was done in an effort to mirror the same steps taken by other schools within the university in regard to appointment scheduling, Kraft said.

Kraft’s resignation was accepted, with the change effective immediately, she said.

“I chose to retire, and my resignation was accepted without further discussion,” she said.

Kraft’s patients were notified of her impending retirement in the form of a letter issued by Health Services administration on March 12. The letter states it is “not known at this time how quickly psychiatric services will be re-established at Health Services.” On that note, the letter also states that patients under Kraft’s care are advised to “seek ongoing psychiatric services from a qualified, alternate provider.”

The letter was issued without Kraft’s input, she said.

“I do not have an answer as to what my patients should do now,” she said. “That is up to the Health Services administration.”