The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Living with ADHD in Medicine

Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Diana Mercado, a family medicine physician in Texas. At Jackson County Hospital District, she serves as the chief medical officer, clinical medical director, and nursing home medical director. Today Erkeda chats with Dr. Mercado about her medical journey as an adult with ADHD and why it’s important to get diagnosed as soon as possible.

  • [00:39] Dr. Mercado’s Medical Journey and Background
  • [04:24] Managing symptoms of ADHD
  • [10:19] Getting through Medical School with ADHD
  • [17:16] How the ADHD diagnosis changed Dr. Mercado
  • [26:24] ADHD Coaching and How it Helps
  • [37:16] Dr. Mercado’s Advice to Pre-meds and Medical Student

Looking Back at Life as a Medical Student with Undiagnosed ADHD

Looking back, Dr. Mercado realized that symptoms of ADHD were present all throughout her childhood. She did well in academics and in extracurricular activities during high school and college so her ADHD symptoms may have been overlooked. It was during medical school where she experienced difficulty keeping pace. Her typical management and study strategies did not yield good results. Dr. Mercado recalls being unable to finish timed tests and having trouble remembering classroom material. It didn’t help that her father was also diagnosed with cancer at that time. Through the encouragement of her classmate, she decided to seek help.

Dr. Mercado after receiving her ADHD Diagnosis

After Dr. Mercado got diagnosed with ADHD, her situation started to improve. Medications had an immediate effect that helped her function well in day-to-day life. Knowing she had ADHD allowed her to try new learning and coping strategies that were better suited to her. Whether you have a disorder or not, take advantage of how you best learn, and how to adapt new strategies to help you overcome obstacles. Today, she regards her ADHD condition as a gift. It helps her come up with unconventional solutions to problems. More importantly, her condition continuously reminds her to remain compassionate towards others.

Why consider ADHD Life Coaching?

Medication is not the only way to address ADHD symptoms. Although alternative strategies cannot substitute prescription medicine, they can be useful. For example, coaching can help you become more mindful of your thoughts and provide new ways to reframe them. A life coach encourages you to constantly re-evaluate aspects of your life that could be further improved.  This outside perspective can make you feel empowered to make changes to your thoughts and actions.

Get in touch with Dr. Diana Mercado through her email at [email protected] and follow her on TikTok. To learn more about her ADHD life coaching services, visit www.adhd-lifecoach.com/.

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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