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Letters to the Editor
Psychologist Prescribing
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 17 page 40-40

I submit that psychiatry is in crisis. Having psychologists write prescriptions is not an economic issue. It is a travesty and a breach of trust, and I suggest that we, the nation's psychiatrists, are responsible for the breach. Let me explain: As psychiatrists, since the days of Benjamin Rush, and later Pinel and Dorothea Dix, we have been given every chance to repair the deterioriating conditions of patients' access to needed care. There was a glimpse of hope in the early 1960s with leadership coming from President John F. Kennedy— and not from the ranks of psychiatrists— in the form of community psychiatry. We failed to do the right things back then. And we failed to make care and access available to citizens. Now that the system is finding an alternative way, as unethical, unacceptable, and outrageous as it may be, it is really society's validation that psychiatry as a profession has failed. Two states have passed laws allowing psychologists to write prescriptions. If the domino theory has its way, the other 48 states will follow. It is a matter of time!

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