Importance of Medical Examination
If your family physician has known your child since he was born, it may be easier for her to arrive at a diagnosis than a physician who has never met your child before. Either way, any diagnosis for childhood ADHD should begin with a complete medical examination to rule out other diseases and disorders that may be masquerading as childhood ADHD. See Chapter 2 for more information on the many disorders that look like childhood ADHD.
As an MD, your family physician can also order the necessary medical tests and procedures your child may require, as well as prescribe prescription drugs. It may be easier to get in to see your family physician than to get an appointment with a specialist who doesn't know you or your child. Your family physician is also likely to charge less than some specialists.
Why You May Need More than a Family Physician
While family physicians are becoming increasingly aware of childhood ADHD, your family physician may not have the expertise or experience in diagnosing and treating the condition. In addition, she may not be comfortable diagnosing a condition in which a common treatment is the long-term use of a stimulant medication. But getting a medical checkup with your family doctor is a very good place to start if you suspect your child has ADHD.