CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Illinois General Assembly could soon vote on a measure that would allow psychologists — who are not medical doctors — to prescribe medicines much the same as psychiatrists who have medical degrees.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports psychiatrists and other medical doctors oppose letting psychologists write prescriptions for mind-altering drugs, because they claim psychologists wouldn't have the training or experience needed.
Dr. Marlin Hoover, a licensed clinical psychologist with practices in Tinley Park and New Mexico, begged to differ.
"I don't prescribe in Illinois, of course, because we don't have the prescriptive authority in Illinois; but I've been prescribing in New Mexico for seven years," he said.
Hoover said the extra training that would be required by the proposed legislation in Illinois would be similar to what he had in New Mexico, beyond his basic psychological courses to obtain his PhD.
"It actually adds five years [of training]. It adds two years of course work. It's 10 graduate courses," he said. It also would include three years of training, including two under the supervision of medical doctors.
Hoover said there's a need for psychologists to be able to prescribe medication because of a shortage of mental health professionals with that authority in Illinois.
"There's a dramatic shortage nationwide, but in Illinois as well as New Mexico," he said.
Medical doctors have argued the additional training would not be enough, ant patients would be put at risk.
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