“Help, I’m new to Portland and can’t find an ADHD prescriber/specialist”

Blame it on the media, I mean we tend to blame them for everything else so why not blame them for the influx of new residents to our fair city? The media has been touting Portland Oregon as the number one city in attracting new residents. Almost daily I’m getting more calls from new residents who have moved here and can’t find anyone to either take over their medication management or that has openings to see them as a new undiagnosed person. Oftentimes they want to find someone to see that week or the next week. When I inquire if they have contacted other providers they often say “yes, I’ve called 20+ people but you are the only one who has called me back”. I let them know that, usually when they don’t get a return call it is because that provider is not taking new patients. I explain that as a solo practitioner, it literally would take hours and hours to call everyone back. Most people know if they don’t get a return call it is not because the doctor or provider is rude or insensitive, rather between seeing patients, doing the required mounting paperwork, increasing numbers of prior medication authorizations, opening and closing patient files, handing requests for records etc., a solo practitioner spends more and more hours doing non face to face requirements. I tell callers that if you don’t get a return call, keep looking and find someone else.

Mental health specialists are similar to physical health specialists in the time required to see a new patient. Usually it can take months to see a new cardiologist, orthopedic doctor or urologist etc. and so it can be with ADHD specialists here in Portland Oregon (OR). The key if you are moving here or to another city, is not to wait until you are down to your last weeks medication, rather do your search in advance and see if you can make an appointment that will coincide with your new arrival. That will help to ensure a smooth transition of coverage. If you are undiagnosed the same applies; make an appointment in your new city before you arrive there, rather than waiting weeks/months.

Finally, if you have been diagnosed, make sure to have a treatment summary from your old provider listing diagnosis, medications used, any therapeutic notes that would be helpful, old medication bottles, and current medications. Having this information with you helps to speed up the overall process.

I am hopeful this will assist new arrivals and current residents find an ADHD specialist in Portland. We welcome you and are glad you have decided to move here.

As always, I encourage your questions, suggestions, experiences and feedback. If you or a loved one is having problems with ADHD like symptoms, find a local ADHD specialist or if you are in the greater Portland OR area feel free to give me a call at (503) 492-2200.

2 thoughts on ““Help, I’m new to Portland and can’t find an ADHD prescriber/specialist”

  1. I am looking for employment guidance. I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2008 at age 48 after I had blown through a series of jobs due to my untreated behavior. I am wanting to get employed back in the same field and have been turned down repeatedly. I have been ‘self-employed’ for the past 3 years since I finally got on medication that worked consistently and stayed connected in my field as a land use planner through my volunteer work with my neighborhood association. How do I convince employers that I am a employable now that I have markedly improved on my time management skills and completing projects? I also was previously hired into management positions and I feel more comfortable starting at mid level – but, recruiters don’t believe I will stay. How can I convince them that I want very much to put my slowly regained sense of self back in the work world? Signed- Former Planning Director

    1. Hi Tamara,
      The proof they say is in the pudding and honesty can some times be the best policy. You might explain to whomever, what your circumstances were previously and what changes you have noticed since your diagnosis and subsequent medication regiment. Your story is not unusual but I can state emphatically that there are numerous employers who have been in situations such as yours and noticed incredible turn-arounds in staff members who sought treatment with startling results. I’ve had clients tell me that managers have remarked something to the effect of “we don’t know what you are doing, but in the last three months your productivity has doubled and you are the new shining star of the team”.

      Some recruiters will work with that and some won’t, much as some professional baseball teams will take a chance on a player who wasn’t living up to their potential because they had un-diagnosed ADHD. This particular player sought treatment, made significant improvements, fought his way back to the Major Leagues and went on to help his team win the World Series. His name? Andres Torres who was voted the SF Giants Most Inspirational Player after their World Series win in 2010. Andres came back from 10 years in the minor leagues to make it and his inspiration story was made into a documentary called Gigante.
      My guess Tamara is that you can do it too. Just know that when one door closes, others open and the key is to find the right door with the right opportunity.
      Thank you for your wonderful query and best of luck!

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