We prepare ahead of your first visit.
We understand first-hand your confusion, from questions about insurance benefits and costs to wondering if the Focus-MD approach is for your family. We have specially trained, compassionate patient coordinators who walk you through the new patient procedure. We want to start getting to know the patient before you even arrive, so we’ll ask you for any previous medical records or testing that has been done. We’ll ask for Questionnaires or that you do an online assessment to help us maximize our time together at the first visit.
We listen to the parents of our pediatric patients and the significant others of our adult patients. We welcome information from teachers and other professionals who have been involved in caring for you. Enough one-on-one time with your doctor is the cornerstone of the Focus-MD experience.
We do objective testing.
Our testing system is an FDA cleared test that your doctor will interpret to help identify if ADHD is present. Although it isn’t a diagnosis in a box, we use it in much the same way that a doctor uses an Xray to diagnose pneumonia; you have the symptoms, let’s look a little more closely. And like a chest Xray, we can repeat it later to objectively monitor the progress of your treatment. If the results look like ADHD, it’s ADHD! And if the results don’t suggest ADHD, we will keep digging to help you find the right answer.
Our testing begins at home with a computerized assessment that leaves little to chance because it is so comprehensive. It asks about almost anything that could cause symptoms that might be confused with ADHD and lead to the wrong diagnosis. This screening tool also suggests when there is more going on. This is helpful because half of ADHD patients have another significant problem or diagnosis. Often we will ask that you go online and complete our tests before you come in for your visit.
We give you an objective answer—often the same day.
We tell patients that they have ADHD the day of their appointment after a careful, evidence based visit that conforms to the professional guidelines of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Pediatrics. But we also tell patients when they DON’T have ADHD! And when we aren’t sure and we need more information, we will tell you that too. We continue to work with families to get to the correct diagnosis because we are first of all physicians and that is our highest calling. We don’t rush, but we don’t drag our feet.
We give you treatment options—often the same day!
Once we establish the diagnosis, we work with you to individualize a treatment plan based on the best available science. There’s also an art to ADHD treatment—our compassion, respect for your concerns and experience ensure that the patient and his/her family are treated thoughtfully. When medication is recommended, our goal is to help patients achieve self control. We never want to trade ADHD symptoms for symptoms of overmedication!
We follow through.
Frequent follow up is one of the single most important ways to improve outcome in ADHD care. The medications that are used to treat ADHD have side effects and families worry about the horror stories they have heard. We are available by phone, email and work in office visits if problems come up. Regular visits are scheduled every few weeks until we find just the right dose of the right medication for the patient. We call this dose optimization, and the patient is not alone trying to get there. After the optimal dose is found, we continue regular follow up with visits every three months to monitor for changes or new problems as well as re-evaluate the need for continuing the medication. Medication doses are adjusted and ongoing behavioral or academic problems are addressed. Behavioral, sleep and nutrition issues are discussed.
We strive for optimal.
Just the right amount of time and testing to get the right diagnosis—no rush job but no drawn out multi-provider evaluation that provides answers to questions you weren’t asking at a cost that can surprise you. Just the right amount of follow up—no leaving you with that “call us if you have to” feeling or, on the other extreme, requiring that you come to the office monthly to pick up a prescription or have an office visit. Just the right amount of medication, from none at all to finding the optimal dose whether it’s small or large. Just the right amount of reassurance—things are better and if we have problems, our doctor is available and knowledgeable. We keep working with you to find a just right individual solution that allows each patient to be themselves but more focused!