Psychologists Vs Medication Prescription

Psychologists Vs Medication Prescription

PsychologistsVs Medication Prescription


PsychologistsVs Medication Prescription

Oneof the major and important fields that have gained popularity amongpeople is that of psychology. This has in turn led to the inceptionand the practice of psychology with professionals in the fieldreferred as ‘Psychologists’. These are professionals who dealwith the explanation of people’s emotions, perceptions,intelligence and the relationship. Additionally, they are concernedwith ways in which behaviors can be modified, in addition tounderstanding them. Another approach with reference to thepsychologist is that they are professionals who specialize indiagnosing as well as treating mental disorders, emotionaldisturbance and behavior problems. Despite the adoption of thepsychologist services, one of the questions that have led to diverseviews is whether psychologist should be allowed to prescribemedication in their practice (Lavoie&amp Fleet, 2002).This paper focus on this question, as well as analyzing themerits/gains and demerits related to this practice.

ShouldPsychologists Be Allowed To Prescribe Medication?

Clinicalpsychologists are not medically qualified although they hold doctoraldegrees and have extensive training in psychotherapy. ThePsychological Associations have been lobbying to gain legislativesupport for bills that authorize psychologists to prescribepsychiatric drugs. This may call for additional training inneuroanatomy physiology, pharmacology in order for them to belicensed (Lavoie &amp Fleet, 2002). In simple response to thequestion, psychologist shouldn’t be allowed to prescribe drugshowever, this can be done in specified cases. Contrary to the abovepoint, the psychologist who has the required training can be accordedthe power to prescribe medication to the patients. This is due to thefact that, they have the required training and knowledge as to whichprescriptions are right for the psychology patients. Psychologistsare actually in a better position than Psychiatrists and medicaldoctors to know when medication adjustments should be made since theysee their patients multiple times per month (Daugherty, 1998).

Itmakes it easier for psychologists to determine drugs best for theirpatient, and in turn offering the best therapy and drug combinationsfor the patients.Therefore,a psychologist who also has the knowledge to prescribe drugs tohis/her patients saves both time and money as he is able to integrateboth medication and therapy. On the other hand, psychologists can beable to identify when a patient is in need of other health problemsevaluation. Therefore, they can be entrusted with patients for bothtreatment and referral cases for patients who may require specializedcare in areas that a medical doctor should handle. When psychologistsare trained in drug prescription, there is an increased performanceas it allows them to diagnose, treat and prescribe the correct drugsin addition to therapy. This in turn makes them more effective thanthe normal physicians in prescribing the medication (Lavoie&amp Fleet, 2002).


Thereare diverse gains related to the practice of psychologists beingpermitted to prescribe medication to either the parties involved,such as the patients, clinicians, and the insurance companies. Tostart with reference to the patients, the practice is cost effectivefor patients to receive their psychotherapy and drug treatment fromone practitioner. On the other hand, this practice can be used toreduce the possibility of suicidal cases since psychologists arebetter positioned to offer the talk therapy to their patients andthis can also influence how much the patient adheres to theprescription (Daugherty, 1998). Lastly, psychologist administeringdrugs can save the patient’s time as he/she (patient) won’t berequired to get the same from a medical doctor for the sameprescription.

Tothe side of the InsuranceCompaniesthe practice benefits as it is cost effective to pay one practitioneras opposed to paying several practitioners, and hence helping thecompanies in terms of being cost effective. On the other hand, to theClinicians,the practice helps reduce theworkloadfor both the medical doctors and psychiatrists who are there.

DemeritsRelated To Psychologists Being Allowed To Prescribe Medicine

Despitethe numerous benefits related to the psychologists being allowed toprescribe medicine, there is also the downside to the practice. Oneof the major downside is that, psychologists are not qualifiedmedical doctors they can prescribe medications to treat mentaldisorders that can end up affecting the functioning of a patient’sbody. Their knowledge of drugs isn’t adequate to prescribe drugs,and in turn, their prescription may lead to negative side effect. Onthe other hand, there is a higher chance of wrong prescriptions tothe patients, as well as cases of drug abuse of prescribedincreasing. Finally, the measure to ensure Quality control may becomea challenge as psychologists would be impersonating real physicians.

Psychologistprescribing medicine to their patients has resulted in divided viewsamong the key stakeholders as to whether this sis right or wrong.However, one of the nations where this is allowed is New Mexico. Thisis one of the countries that have allowed the psychologists toprescribe drugs to their patients. In addition, another region wherethis is legal entails the US territory of Guam, Illinois andLouisiana (Daugherty, 1998). In summary, the prescription of drugsshould be controlled by the relevant bodies and personnel’s.However, for psychologists to be allowed to practice this, necessaryknowledge should be acquired, before being permitted to prescribedrugs to the psychology patients.


Daugherty,C. (1998). Medical debate: Who should be allowed to prescribe drugsfor the mind?.&nbspNewOrleans Citybusiness(1994 To 2008),&nbsp19(8), 17.

Lavoie,K. L., &amp Fleet, R. P. (2002). Should Psychologists Be GrantedPrescription Privileges? A Review of the Prescription PrivilegeDebate for Psychiatrists.&nbspCanadianJournal Of Psychiatry,&nbsp47(5),443.