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ADD/ADHD Information

As part of our commitment to our Emory students, their families and the Emory community at large, Emory Student Health Services strive to be readily available to all students for mental health evaluations, crises and triage services. In addition, we offer psychiatric services to provide evaluation, diagnosis and ongoing medication management for acute mental health disorders. Often, the management of long-standing, chronic and/or complex psychiatric conditions is beyond the scope and/or capabilities of our service, given our commitment to crisis management and timely intervention, our short-term treatment model and our available counselor/psychiatrist resources. 

Over the past several years, the number of students at Emory requesting evaluation and care for attention deficit-hyperactivity related disorders (ADHD/ADD) has escalated tremendously. Providing services to this large and increasing volume of ADHD/ADD patients made it impossible to maintain the availability of quality psychiatric services for students with immediate mental health needs/crises, potentially putting these other high-risk patients in jeopardy. Therefore, in Fall 2005, we made the decision no longer assume the care of new ADHD/ADD student patients at Student Health Services, in order to maintain access for students with urgent/crisis mental health needs. Emory students already under our care for ADHD/ADD were allowed to remain in the practice until graduation, but new patients are now referred to other psychiatric providers. 

If you are a new or transfer student on ADHD/ADD medications, please contact your current physician/psychiatrist to work out a plan for ongoing care and medication once you arrive on campus. Due to the nature of the medications used for this disorder, many physicians/ psychiatrists will not prescribe for students away from home, so these students will need to be seen by an Emory area/local physician/psychiatrist.

Insurance Issues:  New students who are insured by the Emory/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan are required by the policy to obtain a referral from Emory University Student Health Services or the Counseling and Psychological Services for psychiatric and psychological care outside Emory Student Health and Counseling Services.  Without a referral, students cannot receive coverage for this specialist care. To obtain a referral to have ADHD/ADD testing or to see an outside psychologist or psychiatrist:

  1. Emory (Atlanta Campus) students: please contact the Emory Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 404-727-7450. The referral will be generated internally and will be submitted to the Emory/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan electronically.

  2. Oxford College students: please contact the Oxford Counseling and Career Services at 770-784-8394.

Off Campus Care for ADD/ADHD

We have attached a list of psychiatrists (MDs) and clinics in the Emory and Atlanta area that will see and treat Emory students with ADHD/ADD.  Click on this link to view the current psychiatry treatment list.  We recommend that you check with your insurance company to see if there are preferred psychiatric providers covered by your plan in the Atlanta area.  Please keep in mind that many area psychiatrists have a 1-3 month waiting period for a first appointment.For off campus care, students who are insured by the Emory/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan are also required by the policy to obtain a referral from Emory University Student Health Services (EUSHS) for psychiatric and psychological care outside Emory Student Health and Counseling Services.  Without a referral, students cannot receive coverage for this specialist care. To obtain a referral to have ADHD/ADD testing or to see an outside psychologist or psychiatrist, please contact the Counseling Center at 404-727-7450. The referral will be generated internally and will be submitted to the Emory/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan electronically. 

If you are unsure of a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD you may want to proceed with formal diagnostic testing to confirm the diagnosis.  Formal testing is performed by a PhD psychologist and may be needed to establish the diagnosis. To access a list of psychologists (PhDs) in that do formal testing, click on this psychology-testing link.  Please keep in mind that these (PhD) providers cannot prescribe medication for ADHD/ADD (see the previous list of psychiatrists (MD) for prescribing and other medication issues).  As a rule, diagnostic testing is mandatory for any accommodations desired with Office of Disability Services or for accommodations on major examinations such as the LSAT, GRE, MCAT, etc. If you are unsure whether/with whom to start an evaluation, we would recommend starting with the psychiatrist (MD), who can then help you decide if formal testing is necessary.

While our Emory Student Health Services counseling and psychiatry professionals will no longer treat and manage new students with ADHD/ADD themselves, they will continue to be available to students to help find appropriate evaluation and treatment resources in the Emory area. We thank you for your understanding in this matter. 

Revised 9/6/2016