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Prescriptive authority for psychologists movement
In states where RxP legislation has been passed, psychologists who wish to be granted prescriptive authority must possess a doctoral level degree (PhD/PsyD) and a license to practice, and undergo rigorous post-doctoral education and training. The medications they may prescribe are limited to those indicated for mental and emotional health problems; the specific list of approved medications differs by state. The psychologist is required to collaborate with a physician on treatment.
Additional recommended knowledge
There are several core arguments put forth by RxP advocates, including the following:
Opponenets cite the declining relevance of doctorate level clinical psychology training in the setting of todays mental health care system. Clinical social workers, nurse practitioners, master's level psychologists, and physician assistants have been increasingly prevalent. These professionals may also be quite effective in practicing psychotherapy. Thus, there is a reported decline in demand for doctoral-level clinical psychologists. Thus, there is an increasing threat to psychology training programs to remain relevant. Many such programs support prescription priveledges as it may increase the number of tuition-paying applicants to their programs.
Other opponents to legislative efforts to expand prescription authority to psychologists cite the presence of existing physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and medical school programs that prepare students to prescribe medications. They believe that the separate development of psychologist psychopharmacology training programs is redundant and not cost-effective.
Opponents also cite the fact that the Department of Defense program was shut down in 1998 due to a GAO report stating that training psychologists to prescribe did not produce a clear benefit to patients and that it actually increased costs.
Opponents argue that the required training programs are too short and that psychologists completing this training will not be adequately equipped to understand the biomedical effects of a medication and thus anticipate possible adverse reactions, interactions with other medications or side effects, thus putting patient safety at risk. 
Additionally, critics express concern that, if RxP became the norm, the biomedical approach would begin to encroach on the traditional psychology curriculum and clinicians in training would receive less grounding in psychotherapeutic interventions and research. 
In 1988, the U.S. Department of Defense approved a pilot project to train psychologists in issuing psychotropic medications "under certain circumstances". Guam became the first U.S. territory to approve RxP legislation in 1999. New Mexico became the first state to approve RxP legislation in 2002, and Louisiana followed in 2004. As of April 2007, 5 other states have introduced RxP bills that are under discussion but have yet to be approved.  
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Prescriptive_authority_for_psychologists_movement". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|