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ADD in med school??

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Oh yeah, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Oh yeah

    Oh yeah Junior Member

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    Has anyone been diagnosed or think they have it?

    If so, how do you cope? Have you told anyone...especially your school/profs/etc?

    I'm dying to hear more about this...as I'm reading Driven to Distraction...and it's telling the story of my life!

    Yeah.
     
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  3. paean

    paean Senior Member
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    If you think that you have ADD, and want to go about getting a formal diagnosis (assuming you are correct about having it) contact your college's disablity office/center/point person, and ask what they would recommend. Usually they can point you in the direction of a local professional for assessment, or (rarely) the school will have an assessment program themselves.

    Think about what you want to get out of this. Being diagnosed with any sort of disability can stigmatize you, and diagnoses of contraversial illnesses like ADD can cause problems you might prefer to avoid. If you want to know more in order to take a workshop or class on tricks to manage you life, and maximize you ability to deal with paying attention and time management, you might skip the diagnosis.

    On the other hand, if you feel you would do significantly better if you were allowed to take exams in a room without others, or additional time on exams, pursue a formal diagnosis.

    Some ideas I learned from having a younger brother with a severe form of dyslexia, and some attention issues, are:

    1. Get a palm pilot, and use it religiously.
     
  4. paean

    paean Senior Member
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    2. Write out everything you need to do, broken down into 1 hour long projects (use the palm) and set deadlines for each item.

    3. Get a friend or family member to sit down with you (plan to spend an uninterrupted hour) and plan out your schedule for getting out of college and into medical school. Classes, MCAT, applications, ECs, etc.

    4. Do your reading and studying in the most quiet, solitary place you can find, and set them same time to go there each day. If you don't have one, create one. Often bedrooms (or anywhere at home) are too distracting, but so are libraries, cafes, and other common places. Empty classrooms and lab are great.
     
  5. paean

    paean Senior Member
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    Oops, sorry, not into medical school, but out of it. I forgot which forum I was reading.
     
  6. Doctora Foxy

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    paean, why can't you post more than 20 lines? :confused: If it's true, did you notify an administrator? That seems weird.
     
  7. ortho2003

    ortho2003 Senior Member
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    I have never been formally diagnosed with ADHD. It was not as popular when I was going through grade school, but I often found myself in a seat beside the teacher, because of my hyperactivity/talkativeness. When I go through the DSM IV criteria, I think I score 8 of 9 on the innatentive side and 4 of 9 on the hyperactive side.

    Anyway, when I first started medical school, I really struggled when I studied. That was before I discovered the miracle of caffeine. Caffeine has the same stimulant effects that ritalin does to help you focus. The last two years I have been drinking a little coffee whenever I study and I have been scoring in the top 10-15% of my class consistently, after spending my first year scoring in the lower half of the class. All the advice paean gave is great advice for anyone in medical school, but a little caffeine with help you put that advice to use in a quiet room.
     
  8. Hey, my g/f has ADHD and if you even think you have it, get yourself diagnosed -- controversy or not. Everyone will experience it a little differently but for her, the medication (adderall) was a total lifesaver. It finally allowed her to focus.. she describes it as if you went through all your life with bad eyesight -- so you didn't really know you had bad eyeseight -- and finally you get a pair of good glasses.

    Then again, ADD/ADHD is misdiagnosed quite often. It can only be TRULY diagnosed if you have had the symptoms of distraction -- bouncing off walls, mind racing, etc -- since your pre-teen years. If you were over 9 or 10 when you first started experiencing it, you are most likely not ADD. So, seek out a good psychiatrist or well versed doctor (some doctors don't "believe" in ADD and will not diagnose you) and have them diagnose you.
     

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