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“The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder” The New York Times December 15, 2013

December 28, 2013

The New York Times article “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder” published December 15, 2013 had quoted me towards the end of article. As I had previously written in my blog posting, the quote was taken out of context and deliberately misrepresented my professional article with Medscape. I did send a letter to the editor in order to have this quote placed in appropriate context, however, in the letters to the editor, it went unpublished. So, I’ve posted my letter to The New York Times here.

The New York Times

Letter to the Editor

December 14, 2013

Dear Editor:

Let me congratulate Alan Schwartz on his extensive review of ADHD in his article “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder”, December 14, 2013.  He highlights the increased identification of people with ADHD and the growing use of medication as a treatment option. Unfortunately, he presents information that malign physicians and researchers who have committed their life’s work to investigating the causes of ADHD and pursuing research to prove treatments effective. Mr. Swartz would have served his readers well by revealing his a priori agenda in writing this article. A case in point, Mr. Schwartz quotes me in regards to an article I authored for Medscape on adult ADHD. In this article, he knowingly and deliberately eliminated my notation that the six-minute video accompanied a 2000 word article with 86 scientific references that extensively detailed the clinical evaluation process for ADHD in adults.  Therefore my quote, out of context, misrepresents my work and misleads your readers.  Perhaps his article would have been better placed in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

The moral: Discern the agenda of the journalist before you make sense of the information provided. As I like to teach my psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins, the credibility of the information is a function of the intent of the provider.

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