How long should it take to get an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) diagnosis? How quick is too quick?
by Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D.
If a doctor or psychiatrist talks with a child or adult for 15 minutes, diagnoses attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) and reaches for the prescription pad to prescribe medications, alarm bells should go off. I typically spend a couple of hours with my patients in the initial interview. I ask a lot of questions and listen carefully to the answers. I get a detailed history, but I do it in a semi-structured way. What’s more, it’s not just a matter of looking for ADD/ADHD. It’s important to screen for comorbid problems with ADD/ADHD -- because the rate of comorbidities and ADD/ADHD is quite high. The problem with the health system is that insurance companies reimburse pediatricians for only 15 minutes of their time.