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Letters to the Editor
Psychologist Prescribing
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 10 page 21-21

Iapplaud the remarks of APA President Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., in the March 7 issue regarding proposed legislation permitting psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medications. For most of my professional life, I have tried to bridge various divisions within the mental health field, such as that between "biological" and "psychosocial" approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

But there are some conceptual and scientific chasms that are not meant to be bridged, but rather respected for their breadth and depth. One such divide is that between the medically trained and the nonmedically trained practitioner. The differences in training between physicians on the one hand and psychologists on the other do not amount to the popular notion of a" turf war." Rather, these differences constitute the most fundamental distinctions that a science of humanity can make. Unfortunately, efforts to educate our legislators on these matters do not seem to have yielded dramatic dividends (despite some notable successes on the part of APA and our district branches).

It is now time to urge that physicians of all specialties oppose any proposed legislation in their state that would grant prescriptive authority to psychologists. Sadly, it appears that physicians have already been cut out of the loop, such as in the recent proposal in Missouri. Fostering respect for our colleagues in psychology—which I wholly support—does not mean being co-opted in an ill-advised scheme that threatens the welfare of our patients.

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