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Apr-07-2010 18:07TweetFollow @OregonNews
Letter Decries Bill Granting Prescribing Privileges to Oregon PsychologistsLetter to Salem-News.com by F. Rodney Drake, M.D.
Pending changes could allow those who are not doctors to prescribe medicine.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Governor Ted Kulongoski, according to our trusted sources, is considering whether to veto or approve Senate Bill 1046 which, if approved, would grant prescribing privileges to Oregon Psychologists who would be "specially trained".
What makes this different from every other state where certain psychologists have likewise been approved by their state government to prescribe, is that in Oregon there would be NO physician oversight (supervision).
We psychiatrists have been opposed to any state approving non-medical personnel to prescribe ANY medicine but even more so here where there is no requirement for medical supervision. Medicating is a very very complex act and requires a thorough knowledge of medicine in general in order to provide the optimal care for patients.
We in psychiatry have been accused by non-physicians of trying to "protect our turf" as if that is the problem. That is NOT the problem and never has been and to say that makes it sound as if we in our field have no moral values at all and that we really don't care about the best for the patient.
Such is an absurdity and most people know that. It just becomes a handy statement to make in public and often in front of legislatures. If there were any physicians in any of these state houses, they would know immediately that such is absurd.
I am writing this to you to possible look into. I understand that there is a rush on this bill for some reason. I was also led to believe that there was no public hearing which is very hard to imagine, given the gravity of the situation.
F. Rodney Drake, M.D.
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