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Letter to the Editor
More on Psychologists
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 13 page 39-39

Our organizational struggle with psychologists on prescribing authority has gone over the edge. We claim that allowing psychologists to prescribe is bad for patients, but are we willing to consider any outcome design that might lead to objective conclusions?

The New Mexico experiment seems very cautious and demands a great deal of study and supervised practice. Its graduates would have a good biological immersion that might make them equal to our nonpsychiatric physician colleagues in combination with their clinical psychological skills. They might even be as good as some of us.

The antipsychology frenzy is seen again in our opposition to the appointment of Alan Kazdin, Ph.D., to head the Yale Child Study Center. This protest echoes complaints voiced years ago—in Psychiatric News—about social workers supervising psychiatry residents in psychotherapy. Some of us believe that an M.D. should not look up to a non-M.D. for supervision—it might hurt the identity of the future leaders of the mental health team. This excess credentialism does not help us as team leaders or team players, and for our Board of Trustees to tell Yale who is best for its distinguished program is errant foolishness—especially when we have to say that, of course, we mean no criticism of Dr. Kazdin.

Again, as in psychologist prescribing, the guild or "turf" issue lurks right out there in the open. An objective observer might think we’re afraid the innovation might work too well.

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