Peer commentary - To prescribe or not to prescribe - Is that the question?
Robert Resnick argues that psychologists should be allowed to prescribe medication. With commentaries from Lucy Johnstone, Morgan Sammons and Ronald Levant, and Jim Orford.
A patient is speaking to the doctor, relating several months of sadness, loss of appetite and sleep, irritability and just plain ‘feeling lousy’. After further discussion the doctor concludes the patient is experiencing significant depression and decides upon a course of treatment: psychotherapy and the short-term use of an antidepressant. The doctor takes out a pad, writes a prescription for one of the newer antidepressant medications, and arranges to start psychotherapy with the patient next week while monitoring the response to the medication. A psychiatrist? No, a psychologist in the State of New Mexico. In March 2002 New Mexico became the first state in the United States to permit psychologists, with additional training, to prescribe medication for nervous, emotional and mental problems.
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