I’m in Houston on my annual e-patients retreat. So what better way to help you get through your TGIF fever than to give you a look back on what we were talking about on Psych Central in years past (gee, I sound so old-timey!).

11 Years Ago on Psych Central

The Great Psychology Prescription Debate

I boiled psychologists’ push for prescription privileges down to a question of money in this post. Psychologists are being pushed down the income ladder by cheaper psychotherapy providers (like marriage and family therapists and clinical social workers), and so look upward to see what they could be doing that could be making them more money. Psychiatrists can make twice as much psychologists because they can prescribe psychiatric medications.

Re-reading this essay, I think things are a little bit more complicated than I originally suggested. Indeed, in some rural parts of our country, there is a lack of psychiatric prescribers. But I don’t think the answer is tacking on a few more years of study to psychologists’ training programs, who have no intrinsic or specialized medical training to begin with (psychological training, yes; medical training, no).

Over lunch a few weeks ago, Dr. Danny Carlat suggested the answer is an entirely new training paradigm for professionals, combining the best of both worlds of psychiatry and psychology. And why not, when it’s so clear the existing training paradigm for both professions leaves much to be desired. It sounded intriguing and full of potential, so I look forward to reading more about his ideas in this vein in the months to come.

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