Written by a NHS patient
16th September 2021
Had an assessment with Dr. Stockmann, he's a younger doctor and new to the team.
I did not come away feeling good about this assessment, though he listened and asked questions regularly I felt in general he seemed dismissive. It felt like he had researched a bunch of textbook facts on ADHD and he was adamant that meds were not the best form of treatment; instead changes to my "environment" would help.
He suggested getting a "planner" to help with my organization issues which whilst I agree can be helpful was not the *specialist* advice I expected to receive. I struggle with focusing and no amount of planning is going to change that if it's DOING that's the problem.
If you want to go down the medication route (which I did, and many people do and have had a LOT of success with it) then this probably is not the doctor for you.
He encourages you to do everything else and use medication as a last resort rather than taking medication and simultaneously building your habits as some of us would much prefer. Which all in all is not a bad thing that he suggests this, I respect him for that, but being one-sided and biased is not useful to me as the patient.
He's not a bad doctor at all. He was kind and respectful, and for the most part understanding. Some of the points he made about ADHD being triggered by your environment were interesting (hence why this wasn't a 1 star review).
I am not saying he doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm saying he didn't have the compassion or the bedside manner I was looking for. He is supposed to guide me, and I felt like he dismissed me and my struggles chalking it to my stressful "environment".
As the patient I should be given the facts and be allowed to choose the way forward. If I choose ADHD coaching/therapy/non-medication route that's fine.
If I choose the medication route I should be able to do so without judgement and be fully supported throughout the process.
He seems like he needs more experience with treating people with ADHD. Saying he is an "ADHD specialist" is not truthful though as I got the impression he didn't have much research (or any other) specific experience with ADHD, and I don't like that PUK said that he was a specialist when asked.
His advice to me at the end was very generic. Something your GP would say or just about every NT person out there. He didn't seem to know any recent studies which was frustrating for a patient who comes to the "specialist" to look for answers.
If I come to you (a specialist) it's because I have exhausted every other option. I do not come to get dismissed. You need a doctor you can trust and one you can connect to, this wasn't the case for me unfortunately.
By the end, I came away feeling like Dr. Stockmann gave me the diagnosis as a means to the end. He made it seem like having a confirmed diagnosis would get me the support I otherwise wouldn't have been able to access and I should make the most out of it. But I have struggles and a life outside of studying, and I shouldn't be told generic advice that I already knew many years ago and simply told to "adapt" to my environment.
Do better. To the doctors reading this, if you are treating people for ADHD then do your research. Read those studies and don't come out with "there is no biological component involved" because that's untrue to an extent and extremely belittling to hear. Be impartial. Of course make the patients aware of the risk but give them the options to choose from.
To the Women reading this:
If you are a woman seeking a diagnosis DON'T let the doctors/specialists dismiss you and your struggles. I didn't get through half of my points in the session which was extremely frustrating as he was aware of how little time we had. If the first doc dismisses you, go to the next, and the next, and the next. This is your life. You deserve answers. Yes this process can be extremely draining, but getting a diagnosis in itself is important as its what allows you to access the best (most beneficial) thing: treatment.
The admin team at PUK was great, they listened and have helped me with getting treatment from a different doctor moving forward. Thank you.