Medicine: Unlocking The Pill Bottles

Psychologists vie for the right to prescribe drugs

Psychiatrists were once the power brokers of mental health care. With full medical-school training and M.D.s after their names, they controlled the prestigious institutes of Freudian psychoanalysis. They determined whether patients would be committed to mental hospitals. And they had the exclusive right to prescribe mind-altering medications. But in the past several years psychologists, who have Ph.D.s but no medical school on their resumes, have been chipping away at the psychiatrists' domain.

Now psychologists are poised to grab a share of perhaps the biggest professional prize: prescribing drugs. This fall a pair of psychologists at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center...

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