Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Journal Written Remarks – Day 26 – March 6, 2007
OD Page 35, Stand. Com. No. 996, House Bill 1456 House Draft 2
Relating to Psychologists
I rise in support with strong reservations.
I have reservations on House bill 1456 House Draft 2, which would allow psychologists practicing in licensed health clinics in federally designated medically underserved areas or mental health professional shortage areas to prescribe psychotropic medications. I believe the bill does not ensure patient safety because the training required for psychologists in this measure is well below the training psychiatrists go through in undergraduate studies and medical school and the training required by the Department of Defense Psychologist Training Model.
The Department of Defense Psychologist Training Model allowed psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medications, however, the program ended because the program was found to be unnecessary and costly. In comparing the Department of Defense Psychologist Training Model with the program in this bill, there is a big difference in the requirements. The differences are as follows:
Department of Defense Psychologist Training Model:
· 3 years full-time training program (over 6,000 hours)
· 2 years full-time classroom training in a medical school and hospital
· 1 year of full-time clinical training under the supervision of a psychiatrist
· Only allowed to prescribe to 18 to 65 year olds
· Not allowed to prescribe to patients with any medical complication
House Bill 1456 House Draft 2
· Eleven and one-half weeks of classroom (450 hours)
· No full-time classroom training required
· No full-time clinical training and no hospital training
· Only required to see 100 patients within 1 year under physician supervision
· Allowed to prescribe to all ages and to patients with heart disease, cancer, diabetes,
substance abusers, etc.