Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/surgeon with probable Adult ADD
Flysurgeon wrote at 2014-10-02 22:37:39
I have been a surgeon for 25 years and I was just diagnosed with ADHD 5 months ago. I would argue that the reason I was such a great surgeon is BECAUSE of the ADHD. Being in the operating room was like being in my own personal ADHD sanctuary. I was in complete control of everything. I would say something and it would get done. I chose the music and the peopke in the room. My ability to hyperfocus in very stressful situations literally made me laugh out loud several times. I actually could not believe the amazing things I was watching myself do! The greatest minds and many of the greatest athletes and artists/musicians in history had or have ADHD. It is even considered by some researchers in one model to be an evolutionary trait that has ensured our existence as a species. People with our type of non-linear thinking have been ostracized and ridiculed throughout history, because the symptoms of the "disorder" tend to be bothersome or annoying to those who don't share our perspective. It is for this exact reason that ADHD is considered a disability by the ADA, no different than a paralyzed wherlchair patient who might need nothing more than a ramp to be able to do anything any other employee can do. We are entitled to the same protection. It is this protection from discrimination and workplace harassment that makes this a federal issue.
I would also argue that rejection from medical school strictly because of ADHD would be considered discrimination and your rights are protected. That would be no different than refusing admission to someone strictly because of their skin color, national origin, sexual orientation, or the fact that they are diabetic. There have NEVER been any physical or mental standard required to beco e a doctor, other than the obvious of drug abuse, criminal record, and other things that DO potentially pose a threat to the public.
Imagine a world without the contributions of other greats who were likely successful BECAUSE of their ADHD, not in spite of it. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, JFK and his brother Bobby, Michael Jordan, Carl Lewis, Michael Phelps, Bruce Jenner, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, yada yada yada. I think you get my point.
Be proud of your Individuality. Celebrate your gifts.
My son is applying to med school right now. He has a 3.94 and got 37 on the MCAT. He just told me last night that he meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD and is concerned. I am relieved. He will be a fantastic surgeon and will have a lifetime to learn how to focus his talents toward greatness.
Go forth and apply. Your "disease" will ensure your success at whatever you choose to focus on. You know how this works. Beat em at their own game. You have the tools to do it.
Good Luck, future doctor!! Correction--surgeon