100 years ago doctors had little credibility. A education reformer's report remarkably reformed medical education and physicians' professionalism. In the last thirty years this credibility has been eroded by financial ties between doctors and the drug companies. Is it time for another Flexner Report.
The decision by the Massachusett's Board of Registration in Medicine to allow the psychiatrist in the Rebecca Riley murder case to practice again without any restrictions makes no sense in light of the specific facts that emerged in testimony during the trials. However, punishing the doctor would have also challenged Harvard's Pediatric Psychopharmacology Clinic which promotes the bipolar diagnosis and aggressive use of psychiatric medication in children.
Apparently, the closer you are to Harvard the more legitimate Pediatric Bipolar Disorder becomes. Carolyn Riley, the mother of Rebecca Riley who was killed, four years ago was convicted on February 9th of second degree murder. The doctor who prescribed the girl three psychiatric drugs was granted immunity from prosecution and continues to practice.
Beyond Ritalin: Facts About Medication and Other Strategies for Helping Children, Adolescents, and Adults With Attention Deficit Disorder
Stephen Garber, Marianne Garber and Robyn Freedman Spizman
(HarperCollins, 1996, Paper $13.00)
This easy to read book offers multiple strategies for a variety of problems associated with ADD. It goes well beyond what I cover in Running on Ritalin with regards to how to. It is by no means anti-Ritalin but rather suggests a sensible balance and integration with other modalities when it comes to employing medication for ADD.