About Dora Wynchank

Dora Wynchank

Who is Dora Wynchank?

I am passionate psychiatrist from South Africa, with a French mom, English dad and now living in my adopted country, The Netherlands. Why am I passionate about ADHD? Since the early 2000s, while I was working as a psychiatrist in South Africa, I met people living with ADHD. I found their energy and creativity inspiring. I was attracted to their humour and out of the box thinking: there was something expansive and inclusive in the interactions. I also could relate to how hard it was for them to grow up under constant criticism, being misunderstood, not reaching their potential.

I have had the great privilege to diagnose and treat many adults with ADHD, some in their 70s and beyond, some starting their studies. Across the lifespan, ADHD presents different challenges for those living with it and those loving them. I know, because there are many ADHD members in my family.

But I remain convinced that knowledge is power, diversity makes the world more nuanced, difference is enriching. My connection to people living with ADHD led me to consider a career in research in the Netherlands in adult ADHD.

What have I done?

As a medical student, I got involved in politics and an oral history project. I was tutoring from my teens, I secretly wanted to be a teacher. Research also drew me, I started with my first research projects in my fourth year of study. Once I graduated as a psychiatrist, I continued with psychopharmacological trials, teaching colleagues and clinical work.

In 2014, I decided to move with my family to the Netherlands where I embarked on a PhD in adult ADHD. I researched biological rhythms and sleep disorders in the Expertise Centre at PsyQ and the University of Amsterdam. I had met Sandra a few years before and was drawn to her enthusiasm and world-class status as a researcher, plus we became firm friends. Since moving here, I continue with my research (my focus is now women with ADHD). I have been the Editor of the DIVA Foundation for several years, responsible for translating the 3 diagnostic interviews for ADHD (DIVA-5, Young DIVA-5 and DIVA-5 ID) in over 30 languages, working with patient organisations, lecturing and sharing my passion for ADHD. The ADHD Powerbank is another tool for me to continue with my youthful dream: learning, teaching and sharing. Proudly, with Sandra Kooij.