California Bill No. 2050: Prescription privileges and mandatory training in psychopharmacology for psychologists

A public hearing on California Bill 2050 on prescription privileges was held on April 13, 1998, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 3191 at the State Capitol in Sacramento before the Business and Professions Committee of the Legislature.

This bill would requires the Board of Psychology to encourage all doctoral programs to train in psychopharmacology. The bill specifies that such training includes 64% medicine and 36% psychology. This is the first psychopharmacology bill introduced in recent years that directs training to occur at the doctoral level. Until now, recent bills required post-doctoral training. AAAPP [the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychologists] and about 20 individual members have submitted testimony against this bill. We are now looking for someone willing to go to Sacramento and orally present the testimony. Oral presentation is the most effective way to draw attention to the fact that psychologists are not uniformly in favor of psychopharmacology. The lack of consensus among psychologists carries a great deal of weight. Otherwise, the pro-psychopharmacology testimony I've heard poses the issue as simply a turf war with psychiatry.

Addendum: Bill 2050 failed, but another bill that omitted prescription privileges but retained the wording on changing doctoral programs to include medical training passed.

Elaine M. Heiby, Ph.D. Dept. of Psychology University of Hawaii 2430 Campus Rd. Honolulu, HI 96822 USA