A recent Oregonian story, published by national news outlets and medical Web sites, features Tanya Tompkins’ insights about a controversial Oregon bill that will allow psychologists to prescribe drugs. The legislation has been closely watched by medical practitioners and journalists.
Under Oregon’s new bill, psychologists can prescribe medications even though they lack medical training, Tompkins says. “Ninety-three percent have not completed even the most basic undergraduate prerequisites — such as biology, organic chemistry or physiology — that physicians and nurses complete.
“Clinical psychologists from across the nation find this move troubling,” Tompkins says, “and many are outraged at the tactics proponents used to push their agenda.”
The Oregonian reported that Tompkins has raised the issue of prescribing rights in Linfield seminar classes for years. Tompkins says many students initially support letting psychologists prescribe, but most wind up opposing the idea.
Tompkins and other mental health professionals are upset lawmakers didn’t have the courage to “Just say no” when it comes to jeopardizing public health. “Oregonians deserve safer healthcare,” she says.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has not yet decided whether to sign the bill.