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Your Expert Overview: Choosing the Right Professional to Treat ADHD

In the alphabet soup of M.D.s, MSWs, and Ph.D.s, choosing the appropriate professional for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD can be confusing. Each specialty has strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a comparative chart, helping you figure out who does what.

What Kind of Doctor Diagnoses ADHD? An ADDitude free download Are you navigating through a maze of ADHD information and just trying to figure out what kind of doctor diagnoses ADHD? Finding a qualified physician isn’t easy.

ADDitude has made the job a little less complicated with this comparison chart that helps you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option…

Psychiatrist: An M.D. who treats the brain and may prescribe medication
Psychologist: A brain specialist who is not an M.D. and (usually) can’t prescribe meds
Family doctor: Knows your family but may not have extensive knowledge of ADHD
Neurologist: A doctor who specializes in treatment of the brain and central nervous system
Master level counselor: Has a master’s degree in counseling or psychology
Social worker: May provide counseling and behavior assistance.
…and more!

A must-read before your next appointment!

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  1. Disagree! In many states, a licensed clinical social worker has far more robust training and requirements for licensing than a master’s level (MA) clinician. When I practiced in NY and NJ, a LCSW was allowed to bill health insurance as a counselor/therapist and an MA was not. This is because LCSWs are required to have a ton of mandated supervision hours as part of their training, something that is missing in many MA level programs.

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