ADHD News & Research

Back to School: Continuing Ed for Doctors

A new CME program in ADHD will increase the chances that doctors will make an accurate diagnosis of attention deficit-and prescribe the best treatment-right off the bat.

February 19, 2014

A wrong diagnosis of a child by a physician or professional is a terrible thing. Parents go through an initial phase of shock and worry, followed by relief: “We finally know what is making Julie act the way she does. It’s ADHD.”

Parents read up on attention deficit, make themselves experts, and discuss treatment with their doctor. They are guardedly optimistic. They try behavioral management techniques. They try medication. They try both.

After a month or two, symptoms haven’t budged. Parents and child are frustrated. They talk with the doctor, who is equally confused that things haven’t improved. Perhaps a higher dose of medication will do the trick? It doesn’t. The child feels odd on the new dose, so the doctor takes it back down. Everyone wonders what is wrong with the child. Parents wonder if they should see another doctor, or if they can do more to help. And the chase is on to figure out what will work.

A year later the parent takes his child to another doctor recommended by a parent in a support group. After a long evaluation over two visits, the doctor scratches his head and says, “Your child has a hearing problem and a learning disability. He doesn’t have ADHD.”

The National Association for Continuing Education (NACE) knows all about the adverse consequences of wrong diagnoses. That’s why this spring it is offering a suite of accredited and non-accredited continuing medical education activities for professionals to help get doctors up to speed with the latest ADHD guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V.

“The CME program is designed to improve guideline-based care for children and youth, ages 4 to 17, with ADHD,” says Harvey C. Parker, Ph.D., chairman and director of continuing education at NACE. “Pediatrician specialists and primary care providers who treat pediatric ADHD are invited to participate.”

The program, called “Getting with the Guidelines: Managing Pediatric ADHD in Your Primary Care Practice,” has many activities that can lead to accreditation: a live conference in eight cities throughout the U.S., webcasts, on-call office training, ADHD resources for patients and more. Pfizer is funding the program.

For more information on this much-needed program — live conferences kick off on April 26, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida — visit and sign up for this valuable suite of activities.