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September 12, 1990

Prescribing Psychologists-Reply

Author Affiliations

Wright State University Dayton, Ohio

Wright State University Dayton, Ohio

JAMA. 1990;264(10):1250-1251. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450100040017

In Reply.—  Mr Menendez makes several incorrect statements. I did not say schedule 4 drugs are benign, rather, relatively benign. I did not state that this class of drug could be safely prescribed by someone with no medical training, rather, psychologists could safely prescribe limited medications after having completed modified and approved training programs. In fact, concerned physicians found that over a several-year period psychologists in the Indian Health Services prescribed psychotropic medication with fewer inappropriate prescriptions than their physician counterparts.1It is logical that those in the medical profession would believe the only way to learn about drug prescription is through medical school. However, there is evidence that medical school curricula are poorly designed and not sufficient for training in the prescription of psychotropic medication, particularly in the aged population. Physician expertise may have more to do with capable people overcoming an inadequacy in training.Through a