Questions before first appointment

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A few things to talk about before your appointmentWingedWolf / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

This article is part of the series: Find Treatment and Support. You may want to start there.

Before you make an appointment, check out your provider’s credentials and evaluate their knowledge about ADHD In reality, you may never speak directly to a service provider and must rely on their office staff. When you call for information or at your first visit, ask several of the following questions to assess whether they have the ability and inclination to work with people with ADHD.
1) Do you diagnose ADHD? Do you accept my insurance?
2) How long have you been diagnosing this disorder? (Do you treat adults?)
3) What percent of your practice has a primary diagnosis of ADHD? Do you focus on children, teens and/or adults?
4) How familiar are you with the day to day tribulations of having ADHD? (You’re trying to learn if they or some one they are close to has this condition. How intimate is their understanding of ADHD on a daily basis?)
5) What is your treatment philosophy? (Will the clinician work with you and be open to suggestions or will he/she call all the shots. Is their treatment of ADHD the same for everyone or is it individually tailored?)
6) In a subtle way, learn what they do to keep current in their knowledge about adult ADHD and its treatment protocols.
7) How do you make a diagnosis? How many visits will it take and how much will it cost?
8) How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
9) Ask psychologists how they handle the medication part of treatment as psychologists do not have prescriptive authority. Ask physicians (and other medical personnel with prescriptive authority) what medicines they use to treat ADHD.
10) Keep track of those you have called and how they answered these questions.
Unfortunately, given many providers’ busy schedules, you may have to settle for the more limited information that a secretary or receptionist has available. If you do have specific concerns, try asking them to help you get your questions answered. You should feel comfortable with your choice.
(These questions are taken from The ADHD To-Do List by Cynthia Hammer for ADD – No longer online. Used with permission)

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